I’m Sorry, I’m Sorry, I’m Sorry

I completely forgot to queue a post last night before I knocked off for my day of rest.

I am breaking my no-internet day-of-rest (actually I’m painting the bathroom, but you know, it’s not writing or house cleaning) thing to let you know I’m okay.  I’ll combine promo posts next week.

Meanwhile housekeeping for long-term readers:

We’ve decided we’ll bring back the old paypal for those who want to subscribe (no levels, you guys do what you want.  Life is so strange right now, I can’t really promise anything, and I never fulfilled the old — more on that anon.) And keep the new one for those who prefer to donate when you love something or whatever.  What say you guys?  They’ll be labelled “Support the blog” and “tip jar” or something of the sort.


I intend to do patreon, but um… they’ve behaved weird recently.  So not existing yet.  I can also provide an address for anyone who wants to donate by check (I even understand, but…)

On the “I never fulfilled the promises” — you guys know what my life has been these last 5 years — I no longer seem to be dying, but when I talk to any of you in person you always say “I actually don’t want the swag.”

So, we’re going to do this: if you really want the swag at your level, or some of the swag at your level, email me at the goldport address, and I’ll do my best to fulfill it this month.

Other things: the grant fanfic will return sometime later this month.  I’m writing it to the end, so I can post bigger chunks.  Rogue Magic will return to Saturdays before the end of the year and I will finish it, though I can’t promise a specific date.  (I need to go back to the beginning and make it all fit (a problem of writing in installments) so I can finish.

I’m doing a massive overall and new covers of all the older books.

I’m hoping to finish de-um… not quite de-politicizing but it will stand for it the Magical British Empire trilogy to put up soon.

And  unless it’s another week of headaches because of California fires, I should send Alien Curse to the betas this week, which leaves me time to finish A Well Inlaid Death, which has been waiting so long (Dyce Dare book.)

And now I’ll return to my non-internet weekend.  See you this evening.

112 thoughts on “I’m Sorry, I’m Sorry, I’m Sorry

  1. There is only so much of you to go around. Reorganizing is good. Not to be heartless bastard, but if it doesn’t make money cut it. See first statement. Look hard at first statement a third time…
    I’m perfectly willing to pay for the chunks of your life I use. You are an excellent value.
    If this was a hobby then it would be different, but you do this because it is your talent, you feel compelled to do it, and it PAYS more than scrubbing toilets or baking cookies. In fact you might do a $/hr analysis and conclude a cleaning lady and buying gourmet cookies is a benefit instead of an expense. I hope you don’t read this until MONDAY.

  2. Patreon… yes, well, let’s see what happens over the next six months to a year. They’re getting as wonky as everything else that gets woke (including self when woke by a cat an hour before Alarm Clock.)

          1. Yiiiii, what happened, now? I knew they’d moved (I think) and caused a bunch of people’s cards to be declined (mine turned out to actually have my old address, so that one was partly on me and readily fixed) and were trying to insist it was the creators’ problem to pursue, but I didn’t know they were trying not to pay people.

            1. As I heard the to-do– at some length, she was pissed— guy had an account for basically like Sarah, but much smaller. “I blog, you tip me.”

              He gets REALLY pissed, because all of a sudden the folks who had been donating to him all up and quit– and nobody said a blessed thing.
              He was nice about it, but asked why on earth they’re leaving right then, given some health issues…everybody that donated to him was startled, because not only had they not quit their donations, but the money had been charged to their cards as scheduled, weeks before.

              Pissed lady writes a probably rather pointed note to the company, asking when she’s going to get her money back seeing as how they haven’t seen fit to deliver it to the person they were contractually obligated to do so, and informing them that if she didn’t get a response in reasonable time she’d be reporting it as a fraudulent charge.

              Gosh oh golly gee, next thing you know the guy suddenly has the full amount deposited into his account the very next day, and she’s got an email saying he’s a liar, he was paid.

              1. And they’re cutting off people like Robert Spencer (the anti-jihad historian, NOT R. Sp-ncer the white nationalist) without giving good reasons, but are leaving hard left accounts alone. At least thus far they’re leaving the hard left alone.

                1. And they tried this with David Horowitz but almost immediately reinstated his payment. Once it was let out that Southern poverty had pretty much ordered the shut down, David’s lawyers were measuring their garages for new stuff. No doubt, Visa and Mastercard would be paying for Southern poverty’s liquidation

                  1. It’s a crying shame that did not in fact play out. The SPLC is a knot of pure evil and needs to go away, and in a way as painful as possible for those responsible for its existence.

          1. And if I heard correctly, Freestartr is in deep trouble because all the approprate companies are too woke to process their collections and payments.

        1. I would like to see them get a lot more competition. Just last week Stripe pulled the plug on BitChute and Freestartr.

          I’ll have to investigate the legal requirements for starting a “conservative PayPal”.

    1. Not only cat. Cat usually picks on hubby, but hubby golf weekend. Mouth piece used for Sleep Apnea broke, so dog got in on the action, waking mom every time I stopped breathing (I guess). It was a L O N G night last couple of nights. Won’t get better until device is replaced.

      1. I bought my last machine(s) before Medicare came in, and the vendor was surprised I bought two (and spares for everything breakable/subject to wear). My last day-surgery trip, they told me to bring my CPAP machine in case things went sideways. (They didn’t.) I brought the spare so I wouldn’t have to repack machine #1 at the hotel.

        If the CPAP machine isn’t working, I flat out can’t sleep. 20 years of being a hosehead gets me that way.

        FWIW, I’ve used cpapman dot com. Shipping is pretty fast from Redmond, Wash. When I got my prescription (asked the family practice guy), it was broad enough to handle everything. Yes, I wrote the prescription for him to send. /grin

        1. Mild Sleep Apnea. I can use the Mandibular mouth piece made by (mostly) orthodontists; although I’ve since found out my dentist also makes them.

          Only had it 6 months. Hoping it was guaranteed for at least the first year. Son’s retainer was. Otherwise. Hope insurance will pay for the next one. But then they haven’t paid for the first one yet. …

          Orthodontists third party software claims clearing house having a bug where the software rejects dental firms from filing medical claims. Finally filed by snail mail then two weeks later filed online (stupid button was not “clear”). Good news is online filing got me a letter saying “can’t process this, same claim already in progress.” Not that I can tell from what is on my online account “claims in progress”. Monday, I’ll do the online check, again, if still nothing, do the online chat & point to the letter. Maybe THEY can see it finally. Or get me (finally) to someone “in the know”. Will not hold my breath.

          Yes. For those keeping track. This is not my first whine about this. Doesn’t help that I know what is going on with the processing & software stuff. For some reason pointing out that I wrote software for 35 years, so I know, they know, they are blowing smoke, doesn’t help. It also doesn’t help that I was never in their situation. Critical Software fixes were delivered ASAP. OTOH non-critical changes, not so much …

        2. *Serious* apnea here. No air, no sleep. I have a spare machine, and if a power outage exceeds the UPS capacity, I have an invertor and enough extension cord to reach the car.

          No need for detailed plans to survive a zombie apocalypse; if the power grid goes down, I’m not going to last long.

  3. Heh. I never noticed the subscribe button was gone. I subscribed a long time ago, and it’s still going. No, this is not a complaint. Just a, “Huh? It’s gone? OK, weird.”

    1. Yeah. Mostly because I need to remove the levels and we need to do something to have it say you’re not getting anything for this. It’s not that I’m mean, it’s that right now it’s taxed, which is all I need.

        1. And given that stupid sales tax decision, probably means that Sarah has to pay that tax on any donations from Kentucky readers.

  4. Take care Sarah! Oh, since you weren’t able to give a prompt for a Vignette, I thought I’d give a piece of my Work-In-Progress. 😀

    The city looks beautiful from here, thought Idris Newman. Atlanta has plenty of history as well. Besides being burned in the Slaveholder Revolt, in 1903 it was the site of the first battle in America between Ultras. In 1915, the newly established US Ultra Agency broke ground for its National Headquarters. Now about a hundred and fifteen years after the Battle, Atlanta is the unofficial Ultra capital of America.

    [Sir, Mentalist Minerva Johnson’s taxi is arriving.]

    [Thanks Jarvis, I’ll be right down.]

    As Idris wrathed downstairs, he thought If you’re going to invite a telepath into your mind, you should meet the telepath at your front door.

    1. Is that supposed to be “wrathed” as in raged, or “wraithed” as going incorporeal and going through floors and walls?

      1. “wraithed”. 😦

        Now I have to change my notes on that power set. 😉

        1. Wraithed is a lot easier on the architecture. I just have visions of Idris going full on HULK SMASH! just to get downstairs faster.

          1. Going “Full Hulk” used to be the job of his servants Gork & Mork. 😀

            Now they are “Big Brothers” that he can call on when he was heavy loads to lift or very tough goons to be taught manners. 😀

    1. The Jihadwatch case is far more worrisome, because they’re claiming it’s the card company doing the refusal; there was apparently something else about Visa doing the same thing to a different non-Left wing groupl was on PJM.

      Because they’re common carriers, especially for international purposes. I can very easily forsee this being something eventually applied to anyone – and I mean ANYONE – who isn’t left-wing, or one of their ‘approved’ groups. Small time authors, artists, freelance work… if you have ANY hint, no matter how small, about a dissenting opinion or thought, BOOM there goes your livelihood.

      And we already know they’d be very happy to pull the lever, because of the ‘everyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi’ mindset that has shot up in the last two years.

      1. Guess we’ll just have to figure out how to run a credit card company and bank for conservatives. On the other hand, I understand being a banker can be very lucrative.

        1. I’m sure “regulatory capture” has made it very difficult for anyone to move in on VISA/MC. They’re multinationals now. Discover can link with eBay or PayPal, which makes it a lot more useful than it used to be. And though I have an Amex vendor account, they won’t give me a card, so scroom.

        2. Until the various government regulators and Lefty protesters start camping in your lobby. Which, if you recall, Barack Obama made his mark doing in Chicago protesting “redlining”.

          1. one of the ironies is he got elected right when the loan failures from that particular effort came to roost…

      2. Power Line reported that the David Horowitz Freedom Center [ https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/08/now-its-the-banks.php ] was cut off by MC/Visa due to an SPLC damning of them.

        The Left has been trying to gag David Horowitz for over thirty years. I don’t think they’re going to succeed this time, either.

        I believe Instapundit picked up on a report that the ACLU has filed an amicus brief in support of the NRA in their conflict with Governor Mario “America Was Never Great” Cuomo.

      3. If they are in fact common carriers, they can’t legally do that. Railroads, for example, can’t refuse a shipment based on the opinions of the shipper. Facebook, YouTube, etc. are being held immune from defamation liability as common carriers as long as they don’t censor. No one has apparently tried to nail them with that, but I suspect a) it won’t take long and b) that’s why they’ve restored quickly anyone who’s prominent.

    1. On top of this they are also targeting alternatives: John C. Wright reports Freestartr is being prevented from collecting funds.

    2. That article was exceptionally disturbing. I can see enough between the lines to say that it puts a very grave risk to the freedom of all conservatives to utilize the internet for communications and business purposes. They could in fact, throw all the sad puppies into a sack and drown them, effectively destroying the indie publishing market. And yeah, that would get enough people mad at them to initiate a class action lawsuit against those financial companies.

      1. Looks like we’re at that stage of the ‘process’ – the same that was inflicted on the Jews by the Nazis, and variations done by the Socialists/Communists against their various ‘acceptable groups to hate.’

        I foresaw this possibility being very likely, but … *shrug*

        1. You were hoping for the best outcome and we got this one instead? Just more confirmation that the universe doesn’t play favorites, and Murphy’s Law rules all.

        1. I totally disagree. It is making them money hand over fist. If you interpret them knocking the Liberator file-as-a-book off as them being willing to censor indie… I somehow don’t think that them distributing indie genre novels is going to get them sued like it was beginning to look like distributing that book would, esp since they are definitely bound by the court order in Seattle.

          1. Yeah, that’s what I thought about Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft Azure (before Gab.ai), Marvel, DC (They’re bringing out a Batman Prequel movie focused on the Joker with Bruce Wayne’s father as a blonde casino owner and getting Alec Baldwin to play him. Wonder who that’s aimed at?). Sarah, there’s a reason for that phrase “Roll Left and Die”.

            I’m getting the same vibe off these people I did off Islamic terrorists: they don’t care about the consequences.

            1. All of the new DC movies have been screaming “look at us, look at us, how deep and mature we are, not like those (*spit*) ENJOYABLE superhero movies!”

            1. I’m sorry, but what does this have to do with Indie? That book is through a publisher, and Sarah already has experience with publishers screwing up such things.

            2. That’s stupid publisher tricks, Steve. It happened to me. Twice. I know they say they don’t know how it happened. Gee.
              I refuse to admit that we have sci fi tech. Or that Amazon is going to shoot itself in the head by doing something that invalidates something else they’ve done, just because.
              PLEASE. Paranoia helps nothing.

        2. If Amazon continues to be the only company using its business model, then that may happen. But I don’t believe they own any IP rights in any of their practices. Let’s create alternatives. A smaller “Amazon clone” may lack their economies of scale, but it can gain market share by offering products or search options that Amazon won’t.

  5. Wait, aren’t we supposed to be the ones doing the redecorating while you’re gone, not you?

    1. Shhhh. Trust me, she won’t notice the tartan curtains. Or the six yards of flightline we’re using to hold them up until the rods arrive.

      1. Idris (the ex-Grey Cat) says that Gork & Mork are available to do any heavy lifting or wall-removal. 😉

      2. Can we apply the propwash to the curtains before the rods arrive, or do we have to wait?

        1. I’d wait. You’ll need the rods to check if the curtains will flutter properly in the propwash.

      3. As long as Fluffy doesn’t mind. Or the sea serpent in the minion pool.

        I think the aardvark is busy bringing out bonbons.

      4. Be careful of what you ask for. Anyone asked me fore 6 yards of flightline, they’d have a wonderful time explaining to the wing commander why I used a bucket loader to scoop up 6 cubic yards of asphalt that his planes were being used on.

        1. I recall one fellow was told get some prop wash… and managed to order a propeller cleanser, to the bewilderment of the fellow who so told/ordered when it finally arrived. Subversive bastage. I like him.

        2. From a couple of the things I heard from Rhys:

          Crosshairs replacements – one particularly creative bastard gave the newbie a small box, which may or may not have had a couple of pubic hairs, and told the poor sod to BE VERY CAREFUL BRINGING IT BACK, because fragile. Waited until the newb sloooooowly walked out of the Q-store, and rang the folks who requested it. They watched him inch his way back to deliver the small box.

          “20 min long T break.”

          I’ll have to ask him for a few more. The folks have learned the hard way to not do that sort of thing with Rhys, because he breathes puns into normal conversation regularly without missing a single beat (When I said “That’s the cardiologist,” today he said “Oh, getting to the heart of the matter, are we?”) and not only does he know how to respond, he can cheerfully escalate the PUNishment.

  6. My sympathies on the headaches from the fires. It’s bad here in Utah too and I’ve also had headaches.

    1. Darn migraines. Stupid smoke.

      The wind pushed it out of the valley this weekend. We’ll see if it’ll stay away.

      My sympathies too. For both of you.

      1. We’ve had tolerable smoke conditions this weekend, though Watson Creek will smoke us a little at times. Acres and acres of beetle-killed Lodgepole pine, dead 10-20 years. Not sure when it will stop, especially if it’s a dry winter.

      1. Tonight’s menu at RedQuarters: homemade pesto with gnocci and fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Yes, the basil overfloweth the pots and is attacking the marjoram. Time for pesto.

        1. I had a bunch of radishes that I picked all at the same time, and I didn’t want to just throw out the greens if I didn’t have to, so I found a recipe for radish green pesto. Was pleasantly surprised.

        2. Our tomatoes are finally ripening. The zucchini hit end of life, so the plants are compost while the fruit await Max, the grill.

          We just brought the dehydrator out of storage. Dried tomato is really nice to have on hand.

        3. I’ve heard basil jelly is tasty, and can be applied to meats much like mint jelly. Just FYI; I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m darn well gonna next year.

    1. Not yet. That got buried under health, because it’s not contracted anywhere. Hopefully, with our hostess’s recovering health, she’ll feel up to tackling htat one once she’s cleared her plate of the things that are on it right this second. Because that was cool, and I want to read it, too!

    2. Reminds me of an article I read in the original “Best of Dragon Magazine”. I can’t remember the title, but the subtitle was “What good is a panzerfaust against a troll?”

  7. Sarah, in a recent post you noted that you lacked a copy of the Compact Oxford Dictionary, with magnifying glass.
    As we are packing a 2500 ft+ house into a 10 x 10 storage unit, in preparation for the sale of our house and our move onto a boat in Florida. As my copy will be in storage for 4 or 5 years, I thought that you might enjoy it instead.
    If so, please send an addy where I can ship it, to me at jcsage8 at gmail dot com.
    John, JPDev

  8. And now, the Phantom will nag.
    “I am breaking my no-internet day-of-rest…”
    I thought the point of a no-internet day was that you don’t use the Internet. >:D

    “…actually I’m painting the bathroom…”

    Are you using a organic vapor fume mask? I always do. Even latex paint has some troubling vapor issues these days, and of course oil paint is well known to trigger migraines. Best thing to do is wear the fume mask. (NOT a paper filter dust mask, the real Gas Mask one. Mine has a face plate. Not cheap, but it is SO nice not to get a headache afterwards.)

    This concludes my nagging for the evening. ~:D

  9. Patreon and I do not get along. I had a Patreon acct, and found one morning that 25 $99 payments had been made to a bunch of accts that had been opened, received my money and then closed. Took me awhile to get it fixed, including the overdraft fees from my bank.

    1. Stephen Hayward at Power Line gives a good summary of the corruption afflicting the Catholic Church and the way in which Political Correctness and efforts at conforming to Liberal “values” has exacerbated the problem:


      “I have no idea whether these persistent rumors are true. But isn’t this something the media should look into, if only to debunk it if it isn’t true? The Boston Globe rightly won a Pulitzer Prize (dramatized in Spotlight) about how the Catholic hierarchy covered up clergy sexual abuse in Boston, behaving exactly like any bureaucracy would according to what public choice theory would predict. How about looking into seminary culture to see whether some of them are housing incubators for predatory behavior.

      “Don’t hold your breath. Such an inquiry would require journalists to probe into matters that run afoul of liberal orthodoxy today. It is one thing to probe into bad behavior from unpopular and easily demonized cardinals. Blowing open a cover-up is standard Watergate Journalism 101. It’s another thing to open the door to uncomfortable questions about sexual morality in our anything-goes times. And that’s almost as great a moral failing as the bishops and cardinals who cover up the evil in the first place. The point is, while the media will gladly blast the most lurid and awful (but unproven) details of a grand jury report about what took place in Pennsylvania without question, they are unwilling to look deeper into the potential causes and enablers of this evil. That is nearly as contemptible as the cowardly behavior of the Church hierarchy.”

  10. Ten parts for a series on how to write a short story?

    “I am sorry this series is so long, I did nt have the time to make it shorter?”

    How to Write A Short Story – And Why You Really Should Learn To (a 10 part series)
    By Sarah Hoyt
    n the old days, short stories were expected parts of a writer arsenal. In times long before I broke in, the way into writing science fiction was to start writing and sending out as many short stories as humanly possible.

    This is when the pulps market was healthy and people could make a living from 3 to 5c a word, of course.

    By the time I broke in, twenty years ago, those days were long past. At one point, almost ten years later, in a drunken evening at a convention, several of us sat around the table and compared the slots for professional short stories, and professional novels and realized you had almost double the chance of publishing a novel as of publishing a short story in any given year.

    Of course, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know anything about writing except that I wanted to do it for a living.

    So I went to the library and got all the books on how to break into writing. Most of which were ridiculously out of date or aimed at non-fiction writers.

    I gleaned the impression that I had to learn to write short stories because one broke in through short stories first.

    This was somewhat upsetting, because the first story I penned (literally) in fourth grade, in a composition book ran to thirty thousand words.

    But if what I needed to do to break in was to write short stories, by gum, I’d write short stories. And I’m so stubborn that I managed – against all odds – not only to break in through short stories but to go all the way up the ladder from 1/4c a word to 10c a word over about 3 years. Then I sold a novel.

    “But Sarah,” you’ll say, “you’re saying it already wasn’t useful in your time. And traditional publishing is all out of steam anyway, why should I learn to write a short story? My comfortable length is a hundred thousand words.”

    And yet, because traditional publishing is headed down the tubes, you should learn to write short stories.

    Here are some uses I’ve seen people make of short stories in their indie career:

      1. Alma will be taking submissions from a ‘those who walked…’ inspired anthology in Spring. Something like return to the city of evil.

        Sarah talked her into editing.

      2. Um, do you want her to write, or to run anthologies? Because I’ve seen how much work that takes behind the scenes… Especially as an indie publisher, where you can’t offload the accounting headaches onto a publishing house staff.

      3. Hm…wonder if Amazon would be interested in creating a “e-Zine” format, where you make it exclusive to Amazon, and the funds go into an account and automatically get split according to the contract set when the zine is released….

        1. Baen tried that and since it disappeared after a couple of years I suspect it turned out not to be worth the effort, profit wise at least.

    1. Passing on a good suggestion/comment from PJM:

      BillyOblivion • 11 hours ago

      When you’re done writing this, can you edit it down and put it on Amazon as a kindle book so I can buy it for my daughter who wants to write? (She’s 11).

      This is a win/win for Sarah, IMO, if she is able to do this.

    2. … it already wasn’t useful in your time. And traditional publishing is all out of steam anyway, why should I learn to write a short story? My comfortable length is a hundred thousand words.

      Short stories are hard. If you can do those, chances are you can do damn near anything. I suspect that ‘back when’ it was used as a potent filter – and learning tool. If *a* short story failed in a magazine, oh well. If a big novel failed… oh crap. And if an author could hit more than miss with shorts and then had something a bit longer… oh, bit of a record. And nowadays, Kindle (or such) short is cheap… readily bought. Sure, it’s “jelly bean” literature… but “Oh, I recognize $AUTHOR, good stuff as I recall” is not something Madison Avenue (as if you could afford the finks) can give anyone. (And some of us slow, readily distracted folks, like short stories – easier to ‘keep state’ until the end, even with razzafraggin interruptions.)

      1. I’ve done okay working at fifty to two hundred words, but I’m ready to move onto a little longer. Given the lack of time to concentrate, and the general flakiness of my approach to storytelling, no real idea what I will do next.

        Successful short skills do not automatically translate into ability to plot and execute the monster stories that are well beyond the size of a novel. Like being able to routinely turn in fifty to five hundred lines of code programs do not automatically develop esr’s architecture skills for lol huge programs.

        A short lets you build and test your chops cheaply. Yeah, sure, economy takes skills and work. A hundredth of the size will always be cheaper at one’s current level of skill. As in programming, testing quickly and cheaply makes for a faster learning curve. Probably duplicated Sarah’s post, gonna need to read it.

    3. Forty years ago when the market for shorts was still healthy a wannabe writer still had to fight his way past the slush pile, notorious for visiting death and destruction on a budding author’s hopes and ambitions.
      I did discover one little (pun intended) trick, though never used it successfully myself. If you had a talent for short shorts, say in the 5 to 7.5 k range, you had a significantly better chance of a sale as some editor on a deadline was always frantic for something to fill a small hole in the issue three months hence. Money wasn’t great, couple hundred bucks if that, but still what most blue collar made in a week at the time. And the biggest benefit, you never again, at least for that publication, had to fight the slush. Having been published your following submissions would go straight to an editor.

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