Today — or tomorrow, sometime, at the rate these things are moving — I’m going to put up a list of the books I have available for sale.  Paper books, I mean.  They come from varying sources, from contrib copies (you know when you have thirty books those take up a ton of space), to copies I bought to give away because I didn’t know I could get them for free, to the periodic cleaning of Baen’s warehouses, to remnants from Comicon which I took off the seller’s hands.

I have no idea how much of each one I have.

I can tell you the ones I’m short on include stuff like the musketeer mysteries, the first of the Shifter’s series (hardcover).  And a bunch of other stuff like that.  If it’s non-baen, I probably have few, not because I got fewer but because they’ve been out for a while and I’ve flung books at various people.

I’ve never actually sold any copies, but this is getting utterly ridiculous.  One of the big bookcases in the library is full of my stuff, double-stacked and my office closet is rendered non-functional by (mostly) Darkship Revenge and Darkship Renegades copies.  Also, well, money wouldn’t hurt right about now.

So, what I was going to do yesterday was have #2 son who is indentured to me on Fridays, go into the garage and find the extra boxes, then come up here and give me a rough count of books in the closet and what kinds, then put most of them in the guest room for easy access.  This might or might not involve a lot of up and down stairs with boxes.  I’m a caring mother. I try to keep him up on his aerobics and weight lifting.

Actually, he and Dan rearranged the garage when son stored his crap stuff there, when he moved to a smaller place 2 years ago.

So he probably knows where things are, while I’ll just stumble into furniture and boxes of discarded-but-not-ready-to-donate clothes.

Unfortunately due to things truly beyond his control, son couldn’t come up yesterday.

I was also going to make original book plates, so these books, sold this month are a limited, this month only thing.

I’ve done one but the human figure is about thumbnail size, which is not what I was aiming for so I need to redo it. Then the art computer decided it would be fun to crash taking the second with it.  I’m now redoing it.

If all this sounds like “the dog ate my homework” it probably is, but I’ll try to get the list here today.  If all else fails tomorrow at the bottom of the promo.

So, forgive me as I dive back into the chaos that is my life right now.


96 thoughts on “Grumph!

  1. So, forgive me as I dive back into the chaos that is my life right now.

    But Sarah! You say that like “chaos is bad”? But all the best Fantasy tells us that Chaos Is Good and Order Is Bad!

    Of course, anybody who believes that should be buried in Chaos. 😈

    Take Care Sarah. 😀

    1. You know, when I stopped to analyze it, I can’t understand why “order vs. chaos” is equated with “good vs. evil”.
      Hasn’t some of the greatest evil in our world been extremely organized?

      1. IIRC the “Order vs Chaos” thing started as a reaction against “Good vs Evil” but some people started deciding that “Chaos” Had To Be Better Than “Order”. 😦

        But yes, “Order” doesn’t automatically mean “Good”.

        1. Zelazny and Modesitt have had things to say about Order vs. Chaos. If you like a little philosophy with your fiction.

        2. Bahh, Order/Chaos & Good/Evil are different axes.
          It can be lots of fun playing a D&D character aligned Chaotic Good.

          1. Alignment is taking all the moral and ethical issues that the wisest and best have broken their hearts over over the millennia, misunderstanding half of them, boiling them down to a gaming mechanic, and handing them over to a bunch of sophomoric players to use (some of whom will have the excuse of being actual sophomores).

      2. That’s why I prefer organized chaos. It’s going to be chaotic no matter what, so might as well prepare in advance.

        Balance. To much of either one would be evil. Need flexibility to move and explore via chaos and enough rules in place via order that we don’t usually need to worry about being eaten by hungry neighbors.

          1. The wheels will come off anyway 🙂 At least this way you can get your ‘in case of emergency break glass’ package ready to make it easier to get the wheels back on.

            For me, I’m happy knowing I’m organized enough that I’m getting all the things that I must do, done, while still allowing for flexibility to enjoy myself.

              1. I’ll have to check that one out. I still remember getting passed by my own tire one day coming home from the gym. Empty road and I see something out of the corner of my eye and look to see a tire speeding on by me 🙂 Stupid thing went like a mile.

      3. My understanding is that Anderson’s Three Hearts and Three Lions equated Law/Order with Christendom, and Chaos with faerie and the opposition.

        From there we had Moorcock, who added ‘what if law/order is also very bad’, and to the best of my knowledge did not focus on Law/Order as Christendom.

        D&D apparently original used a three value alignment system based on Anderson. As the fraction of the playerbase grew that had only read Moorcock, Andersonian three value was more and more confusing. Eventually, the D&D rules settled on a nine value alignment system, with a good/evil axis and a law/chaos axis.

        Five semiparallel points from that.
        a) D&D is hugely influential. Lots borrows from that. Forex, we see nine value in Fate/Stay Night, where maybe it makes very little sense at all. My intuition is that trying to understand Fate/Grand Order’s use of alignment consistently would be an exercise in futility.
        b) MegaTen is another fairly big small scale user. Though it does both equate Law with Abrahammic religions and argue for circumstances in which Law is evil. Though a prolific Japanese video game series perhaps ought not be taken too seriously.
        c) Mary often comments about D&D’s alignment system being a result of drastically simplifying questions that people have been arguing for thousands of years. I think she is wrong.
        d) D&D grew out of strategy gaming. In strategy gaming, arguments about the philosophy of morality are not a core activity, and knowing whose counters are whose is of key importance. Solutions for this range in complexity from the colors of chess and checkers, to the factions of games like infinity and WH40k. Functionally, alignment is the same. For a table that wanted to fight Nazis or Indians, fight chaos aligned npcs and encounters. For a table that wanted to think things through NPC to NPC, encounter to encounter, that option was available. For a table that wanted to simulate political differences at around the tribal level, or of another large grouping, that option was available. I personally like house ruling alignment as a shorthand for fundamental differences between societies that preclude peace. Because those do exist, tribal societies can be pretty horrible, and murder within a faction is completely plausible in a society remaining largely the same over thousands of years. And the Cold War is the result of the Soviet Union existing. The only choice that could have brought America peace was surrender, and surrendering would have meant the tumbrels and lynch mobs of communism, which wouldn’t have been peace anyway.
        e) A lot of moderns have ideas about alignment, and such races as orcs, drow, and other traditionally always chaotic evil stat blocks that come from recent innovations within D&D. These are understanding alignment differences as being a substitute for things that communism describes as imperialism. Within that, it makes perfect sense to understand orcs, drow, goblins and so forth as being proxies for current talking points about blacks, hispanics, etc. See whining about the Goblin Slayer anime. Hence the kurfluffle about Tolkien’s orcs as a proxy for a racial group. These people don’t care what he thought or said about his orcs.

      4. The reputation of the Nazis for organization is somewhat overrated. They were a murderous bureaucracy, but that didn’t make them good at record keeping. For one thing, there were far too many members of the ‘inner circle’ (which the despicable Austrian played off against each-other) who could overrule SOP.

        The Communists seem to have been somewhat more (I won’t say ‘better’) organized, but they also had to cope with Important People who could overrule.

        Now, that isn’t to say that Order is GOOD. Order, unfettered by human considerations, would be absolute Hell.

      1. When they think “Chaos” they think “I can do what I want.”

        What they don’t realize is that other people can do whatever they want.

      2. I dunno – we used to visit the Orange Chaos stand at the mall food court and it was delicious! Fattening, most likely, but really really good. I used to contemplate adding a pony of vodka to it and making an Orange Chao Screwdriver.

        1. Not as SAFE. Trying to chop wood with dull blades makes it more likely it will bounce off and hit something else.

    2. Possibly not actually apocryphal: “The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis.”
      – from a post-war debriefing of a German General

      From my time in the Navy, the Navy seems to also practice chaos, though not quite daily. Being able to perform at any task while chaos reigns is a useful skill.

      1. Feldmarshal Walter Model once complained, “It is useless to read the American field manuals, because they don’t.” I believe the quote above was from Rommel, who also admitted, “The Americans learn faster than any other enemy I have fought.”]

        1. I believe the quote above was from Rommel, who also admitted, “The Americans learn faster than any other enemy I have fought.’

          The chaos quote was often attributed to Rommel but I do not think it has been verified. As for Americans being fast learners, we had excellent teachers: the Choctaw, Cherokee, Illinois, Iroquois, Kiowa, Comanche, Sioux, Apache …

        2. If it was a post-war debriefing, it wasn’t from Rommel…. or Model, neither of whom survived the war.

  2. The pictured cat looks just like my sister’s old cat Dusty Farlow. Sweet-tempered creature ’til just before the end.

      1. That’s not far from my, “Did you really ask that? Really? How many times have you heard me answer that this morning?” expression.

          1. Clyde — short for Clytemnestra. She was a three month old feral rescue kitten The Spouse acquired the same day we met. She was an ornery bugger. As far as she was concerned The Spouse was her pet … and she only reluctantly tolerated my presence. If she had been human she would have been the master of the twelve year old girl’s eye roll.

        1. …and discover a piece of paper or blanket draped over the camera.

          Athena T. Cat would just shed a mound of fur over it and call it good.

  3. Good luck. I’m glad someone else will be moving them for you, giving you at least some separation from the dust.

  4. Grumph!

    I see that word and this comes to mind:

    When I was a child and I was presented with my first readers in school they gave me the impression that life was simple and the worst tragedy would be overturning your little read wagon into a puddle. (Oh look! Look! Look! Oh look!) School reading was a disappointment. That, to me, is Grumph!

    I like the books I had at home. Little House, Baum’s Oz and Carroll’s Alice conveyed a rather different picture of life. Life could be confusing, disorienting, exhausting, dark and bad things could happen at the least convenient of times. Sometime even leaving you feeling like the only option is to run full tilt into the future screaming, ‘We’re all going to die!’ (Yes, on occasion I can understand Rincewind.) Yet life also was sprinkled with friends, light, amusement, amazement, charm and victories.

    To Our Esteemed Hostess, You have been a light in my life. May that last — friends, light, amusement, amazement, charm and victories — out weigh all the levels of the negatives.

  5. Make #two son (Charlie Chan flashbacks!) pack and ship them too. You need to write and draw and feed the kitty.

  6. I tried to do an Etsy thing for jewelry using natural stone beads. It quickly became apparent to me that setting up each item was more work than making each item. It was impossible and I gave it up quickly. (The thing would be to make many many of the same item and set it up once.)

    I say this to say that the organization and selling part really is a significant amount of work. No doubt once it’s organized and a system in place, it will be less work. Also part of the good news is that if you’ve got a “system” in place, managing all sorts of Sarah-Swag in the future will be easier too.

    Maybe some sort of inventory system… inventory in and out… that discovered or counted books can go into (I’d have a specific physical location for “into inventory”) that individual boxes of books can be added to without needing to add ALL of them? Sort of like, I have 10 of *this* book available… even if you know there’s a couple of more boxes of them in the garage to be added to inventory later. Does that make sense?

    1. >> “(The thing would be to make many many of the same item and set it up once.)”

      My mother is on Etsy and this is how we do it. That, and a custom program I wrote that takes data from the order information spreadsheets Etsy generates for you and handles the paperwork (which, at the volume we do, saves a ton of work avoids countless mistakes).

      Trying to do a lot of volume with each item being unique or without some extra help beyond Etsy’s built-in tools, though? Yeah, that sounds like a bad time.

  7. Hey, it happens. Wife (teaches 5th grade) had a student turn in a paper last year that was taped together because the dog ate it (still had the stains on it as well). This year one of the kids turned in a paper that the cat peed on.

    1. I’ve had “I left it on the ski-trip bus.” Indeed, I believe it did get left, because when it finally appeared, it had a boot-print on the front page and evidence of dirty water stains.

      No critters blamed yet. However, back [mumble mumble] years ago, when I was a freshman in Junior High, a classmate stumbled into first hour covered in mud and eating a cold hamburger patty as he handed the teacher his tardy pass. “I’m sorry ma’am. I forgot my paper at home. Fence went down in the storm last night and the cows got out. Been up since three this mornin’.” Mrs. Fang-n-Claw gave him an extension.

    2. … one of our cats ate a contract. I mean turned it into mashed up pulp. Euclid used to chew and spit out paper. Goshy and wet.
      Then he did that to Robert’s paper. 4th grade. When teacher laughed at “the cat ate my paper” Robert dropped the collected shreds in a ziploc on his desk. He got credit. Also “How crazy is your cat?”

      1. So my wife teaches chemistry. A long time ago we had a cat who would pull and chew on papers and shred them to little bits. She’d finished grading homeworks and had (luckily) recorded the grades in her book. She left the pile on the dining room table and went to bed as it had been late. In the morning we got up to find the papers scattered across the dining room most nibbled or tugged at to some degree. On at least three of the papers the problem was so bad that you couldn’t even figure out whose they were. When she went to return the papers she had to apologize to her students as the cat had eaten their homework.

        1. LOL.
          Yes, only one who will do that is Euclid.
          OTOH when we ran a small press magazine, our then cat Randy (who was a mess. Neurotic, evil and auto-immune) had a knack for pissing on the worst manuscripts. I mean, you’d open it anyway to read, and within a page you knew the cat was right.
          We added a line to our rejections, at the very bottom “The cat pissed on it.” We never actually used it, though we should have sometimes, but…

          1. We’ve always had to guard printers. For some reason paper coming out of them are cat nip … Current culprit knocks the papers on the floor so the dog can join in the fun … She helps scatter paper all over the house & outside.

  8. “Then the art computer decided it would be fun to crash taking the second with it. I’m now redoing it.”

    This is becoming a Thing lately. I’m in charge of a little fleet of 10-12 PCs these days, all built by me, all running software installed by me. Some Intel, some AMD. All crashing regularly for no apparent reason. The application they all use is web-based, lucky/smart for me.

    My personal PC, the One Box To Rule Them All, crashes every single day. In the morning, after a couple of hours, it tries to write to protected memory, freezes like Siberia, and needs a hard-reset. Then it works for the rest of the day. Blowing away the hard drive, reinstalling Win10 on new storage does not fix the issue.

    So therefore I hit the save button every time I type a paragraph. A bit irritating, but much less [BLIND RAGE RED TUNNEL MUST KILL EVERYTHIIIIIING!!!!!] than losing half an hour’s writing.

    But sometimes I still lose work, because of forgetting to push save. Argh.

    I’d switch to Ubuntu, but my Linux-fu is weak.

    1. That actually sounds like bad hardware. Had something similar happen with a hard drive that was silently failing — only indication was long stalls during read operations, which worst case would freeze the system solid. (Mine are all frankenputers built mostly from salvage, so gods know where the drive had been.) Bad RAM can also be masked by caching — so it’ll fail the first time, then work thereafter.

      Ubuntu sucks balls, and Gnome is the one desktop worse than Win10. Consider instead PCLinuxOS. I like Trinity or KDE desktops (but most variants are available), and they don’t require strong fu.

      1. I’d say it was hardware if it was just one, but it is 10 PCs crashing all the time with all different motherboard manufacturers, hard drives, SD drives, some Intel, some AMD, etc. Some weekly, some monthly, but all of them eventually.

        My personal PC it probably is corrupted RAM or a mobo fault, but it can’t be hard/SD dive because this is the third one. There’s a Cintiq tablet attached to another PC, that thing needs its drivers re-installed every couple of months. No reason, it just stops working.

        What I suspect is that Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, is continually “patching” the OS to plug security holes. But they’re in a hurry, so they break stuff.

        I’ve had Nuance Paper Port break monthly on one box or another, the only common theme is Win10. Its the scanning tool that comes with Brother all-in-one laser printer/scanners. Very annoying getting a call “we can’t scan again.” I re-install on one box, couple days/weeks later another one craps out. Same software every time.

        But… if I told the nice ladies “We are switching to Linux!!!” then that would be Very Bad Indeed. Nobody knows Linux. Nobody. But everybody kind of knows Windows enough to get by. So we’re stuck using web-based aps for office critical work. Everything happens on the vendor’s server, if my end dies nothing is lost. I also save server-side backups all the time. Downloads are fortunately easy.

        The one nice thing about it is there’s somebody to sue if the whole thing dies. The vendor has insurance. ~:D

        1. Before I took the fukitol and wiped Win 7 off my PC, I found the askwoody dot com website to be invaluable in dealing with Microsoft’s inevitable screwups. The defcon level for patch advisories (and strategies to keep Win 10 from blowing you away) is invaluable. He’d link to others discussing various problems. I usually don’t use the site any more; the only Win 7 box at home is dormant, waiting for a round tuit to convert. Never went to 10.

          Yes, I use Linux fairly successfully, but my work life had a lot of Unix/Linux stuff, and I’m running one of the more primitive distributions. Slackware for the win!

        2. >> “Nobody knows Linux. Nobody. But everybody kind of knows Windows enough to get by.”

          Seems like there’d be a market for a Linux distro whose USP was being like Windows but minus the bugs, spying and intrusive updates. But I suppose Microsoft would deploy the lawyers…

          1. Wine lets you run many Windows applications on Linux, but some things wouldn’t go. When I converted in April ’17, Quicken was a Never-Linux application. I had to go to KMyMoney, and there was some tweakage that had to be done, and some things can’t be done as easily. (2nd Wednesday for a scheduled transaction? Nope. I have to set it by hand each month or put up with the wrong date.)

            OTOH, a utility to program a two-way radio ran easily under Wine, and the driver for the USB adapter cord (normally installed separately in Windows) was already present.

            On the gripping hand, between Okular (pdf viewer), Qcad and the LibreOffice suite, I can get my work done. Pale Moon has minor differences, in that I need to update with root (superuser) privileges.

            1. You can thank devs at ILM for Photoshop running under WINE… (or at least, you could as of the last pre-CC edition)

            2. If you are a Linux user who wants to convince Windows users to try Linux, do NOT promise Windows people that you can always use Wine to run the Windows applications that they find essential.

              Wine only fails to be the worst thing ever because the user experience (very) occasionally improves to merely bad. Working installations will suddenly stop working. Sometimes installs work, but the application itself craps out. Other times, the install fails but the application works okay if you can figure out the mystic incantations required to install it. Figuring anything out requires that you understand the details of the innards of both Windows and Linux and it’s just easier, I’ve found, to convert to something that’s either cross-platform or Linux native.

              With this last computer, (and HP ZBook Gen3) I wiped Windows entirely after “dual-booting” (that is best translated as “having a Windows partition on the hard disk that I hardly ever used”) for many years. I don’t run Gnome. Or KDE. I sometimes use Cinnamon, but mostly I use Mate. I no longer have any patience with Windows users who want to convert to Linux, but who want to run all their Windows applications and to have things generally work like Windows. The best way of running Windows applications is to run Windows and that’s likely to always be true.

        3. Phantom, have you checked your house power to see if it’s clean and at an acceptable voltage?

          1. That is an excellent question. Indeed, Chez Phantom does have very funky line voltage. Every PC and the television is protected by a UPS battery backup. We have line spikes and brownouts all the time. Rural hydro. Yay.

            But, these PCs are in three different towns. All with UPS coverage.

            On this subject, Windows Update failed to do the official Fall Feature Update on the big box again this morning, after chewing away for 20 minutes. Usually it takes two or three tries on different days and then gives up. So weird.

            I am beginning to have some nostalgia for DOS on 3.5″ floppies.

      2. Run smartctl and see what SMART errors the drive is storing. Enable SMART if it’s turned off.

      1. I had one like that… had to prop up the right side so the carriage would advance. And every so often the main drive bearing would get unseated, because the whole durn thing was plumb wore out. Required a contortion act to get it reseated: hold the partially-disassembled typewriter upsidedown while working on it from underneath, and with my third hand, stuff the bearing back in place while with my fourth hand I screwed everything back together. This usually took about an hour and many swear words.

        One day the bearing jumped its track once too often, and I took the typewriter out to the yard and hacked it up with an axe, then hung it on the fence as a warning to others.

        I still have the axe.

      2. I had one of those in university. An ancient Underwood, 1940s vintage. Whiteout was my friend.

        The one single advantage of typewriters over PCs is that while they are clunky and stupid, they won’t go back and erase everything you just wrote. For better or worse, it is on that paper forever.

        Losing art to a PC crash is more like tipping over the paint pot on your drawing. So much worse.

        1. Gads. I had to borrow a typewriter once to fill out the US Naval Academy application because it had to be typed and in one of three specific type faces. The only machine I could locate that had one of those faces liked to jump certain letters, so they stood a little above the others. The recruiter was Not Pleased when I handed him the forms. _He_ had to re-type them, since I’d done everything I was supposed to.

      3. The 1910 Underwood had a sticky ‘e’ key. It needed a hard whack to get going, then it would work for a while. Made for interesting typing.

    2. That is extremely odd… Elf and I built or frankened all our computers, and almost nothing crashes; my laptop did bluescreen today, but that’s because … well, we’ll just say it took a three foot drop and face-planted on the tile floor, breaking the hard-drive. I’m actually re-installing 10 on it because I remembered I had a spare drive. ^.^ (Originally a 7, incidentally.)

      The only other problem child is Elf’s Samsung laptop, but that’s 100% the helpful software designed into the system– it doesn’t crash, just randomly lags like a mother.

      1. Browser might be memory leaking fairly horribly.

        The hearsay I get is that the Windows updates are pretty bad about crashing the older machines. Particularly combined with MS Office.

    3. Don’t just jump to Linux. I tried that, once upon a time, and it didn’t work out. Things are easier now, but step one is to switch to cross-platform programs (in not already using such) slowly. One per month is plenty fast. Then when used to those program, dual boot or KVM with a Linux machine running those programs. That way you only have the new OS to learn, not every last program. And while Ubuntu works well enough, I’ve found that Mint files some of the edges off. I’m not for all the fancy shinies, so I don’t need KDE (fancy shiny desktop) and go with Xfce (it might look a bit like gnome, but doesn’t do that annoying ‘We Made the the Choices, And They Are RIGHT, so do it our way’ crap). PCLinuxOS, if you are OK with the heavier KDE might be a great choice, as mentioned. I used to run that and rather liked it, but that was about a decade ago now (egad, that long?!).

      Slackware might well be fantastic, and I’ve used a good many Slackware derivatives – and “gotten my hooves dirty” with it. I would NOT recommend it for someone just start out on Linux unless the point was ONLY to learn Linux.

    4. Try MX-Linux. It has a good set of configuration/customization tools, a reasonably comprehensive manual included, and a pleasant and helpful help forum (a rarity in the *nix world). You can run it from a flash drive while you’re learning if you want so you don’t risk screwing up an existing system.
      And yes, switching to Linux takes a bit o’ learning. But much less than it did a decade ago. The vast majority of hardware works out-of-the-box these days, and the choice of programs is better. I use it for everything except for my taxes (I have a Windows 7 virtual machine to run the tax program).
      But if you’re locked in to Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, & Quickbooks then you won’t be happy with any of the Linux distributions. Stick with an OS that runs the software you have to have.

  9. Breaking News: PayPal still accepts donations for Sarah. Use it while it lasts so that forever after you will have to wonder whether email “sent” from PayPal is legitimate or spam.

  10. So, ballpark, what would a Hoyt Extravaganza Box, one each of everything, price out at? I’m planning a lost week(end?) of escapist reading as soon as the Fall Semester ends….

    1. Hi-
      If not a one of everything box, how about three (3) complete Darkship/Earth Revolution sets? Is there a paper collection of the short stories in the ‘verse as well as the five novels?


  11. “The space gerbils ate the control runs.”

    Space gerbils?”

    “We’re beginning to think the insulation on the orbital shuttles is psychoactive.”

  12. Get someone to check what your books are going for on the market before you sell them! I’m in sticker shock! See, I have a copy of Soul of Fire, and one of Heart and Soul, by Sarah A. Hoyt. I’ve enjoyed them very much, and idly, I thought I would check on the third book in the trilogy, Heart of Light. Not available on Amazon, Book Depository also said not available, but referred me to Abebooks… and they have it! New… $51? Plus shipping… eep! Wait a minute, that’s a paperback, mass market version… over fifty bucks? Sarah, I love the story, but… not that much. Did they really say over fifty bucks for a paperback? Whew… Did you say you were considering re-issuing the Magical England books? Is this the ones you mean? Because yes, given that price, I suspect a kindle version would make a killing! Wow!

      1. I skip it myself when I don’t have anything ready. . .

        And I’m about half way through the outline.

    1. When we lived in Manitou Springs, we planned to run Pixie as a Libertarian candidate for Mayor. Stuff, including finding younger son had a major heart defect, prevented it ever happening.
      But we had campaign posters of him looking smug and the motto “Damn Skippy.” which is how we interpreted the smug meow with which he answered things like “Pixie is the best boy cat ever.”

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