I’ve got a busy week ahead. First off, I’m in Las Vegas (in the record heat) managing logistics for the Fantasy/Thriller Craft Workshop that Kristine Kathryn Rusch is teaching. I love being on site for these workshops and seeing our writers in person. They’re so much fun! (I mean, hard work, too, but fun!) If you’re a writer, you should consider coming one of these days. You can learn more about them…
This week is going to be epic! Because I have two fabulous new books to tell you about. One for readers and one to help writers.
First up is Wee Folk, a fantastic collection of stories that’s available right now exclusively as part of the Epic Elves StoryBundle.
Growing up in New Jersey, the official start of summer was Memorial Day. Even though school wasn’t out yet, by the end of May the weather had warmed enough that summer was very much on our minds. Those last couple weeks of school were tough.
But now that I live on the Oregon Coast, the official start of summer is July 4. That’s because it isn’t until July that we can be reasonably assured of decent weather. What a difference from the East Coast to the West…
And while summer might conjure up images of warm beaches and picnics and barbecues, it also makes me think of learning.
We’re not built for it. Rain, yeah. We can handle inches of that in a day. But a little snow…no way.
So, I love new journalism, and I remember enjoying Wolfe’s The Right Stuff up until the moment when he completely lost me. I remember it well. That moment came when he told me what Ham, the first American astronaut who orbited the earth in a Mercury capsule in January of 1961, felt and thought about the trip. I bought the accounts Wolfe offered of Chuck Yeager, ace pilot, and the men who, unlike Yeager, were chosen as astronauts for the Mercury missions.
But I knew for a fact that Wolfe had not interviewed Ham, because Ham was a chimpanzee.
Juneteenth is the newest federal holiday, having been declared by President Biden in 2021, and it celebrates the end of slavery in the US. It marks the day, June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, and just over two months after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, when the people of Texas learned that they were all free under the laws of the United States of America. Major General Granger of the Union Army made the announcement upon his arrival in Galveston, Texas, to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.
Here is the text of his order, now in the National Archives:
My daughter turns 13 this week. And while I can’t quite believe she’s a teenager already, she is taking this harder than I am. She told me this birthday is making her sad. She doesn’t want to be a teenager yet. She doesn’t want all the pressure and responsibility that comes with the teenage years. She said next year, she’d have to get a job already.
I don’t know where this is coming from. It’s certainly not coming from me.
In a fortuitous bit of timing, I have two major pieces of news about Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s latest Diving Series novel, The Court-Martial of the Renegat Renegades!
First, it was recently announced as an Asimov’s Readers’ Choice Award winner! The novel first appeared in Asimov’s in two parts last year, and Asimov’s readers loved it, choosing both parts to win in the Best Novella category.
The second piece of good news is that tomorrow, you can buy the novel in ebook, trade paperback, and hardcover everywhere!
I’m lucky to have not lost a family member to war, at least not in the past several generations, despite my family’s legacy of service. My grandfathers both survived in the Army World War II (although my maternal grandfather received two purple hearts). My stepdad served in the Navy during peacetime. My dad served as a Marine in Vietnam (and also received a purple heart). And my husband served as a security officer in the Air Force during peace time.
But my father and grandfathers lost many friends in those wars. They didn’t speak of it much. But the loss was palpable at times of remembrance, like Memorial Day.
I’m back in the office this week after a fantastic week in Las Vegas for the Romantic Suspense Craft Workshop. It’s always such a treat to spend some time with our writers again in-person!
It’s also cool to see how Resorts World Las Vegas continues to expand its offerings. New restaurants, new shows, new shops. I even shared an elevator with the drummer from Katy Perry’s band (which is there in residency). Nice guy.
My daughter has a busy week involving two different kinds of artistic endeavors.
First up is her school district’s centennial concert celebration. Nola plays several instruments: alto sax, tenor sax, euphonium and tuba. For this performance, she’ll be complementing the low brass section on the euphonium.
She loves playing her instruments, and she takes very good care of them. She’s even brought her euphonium and tuba home for baths (these are school instruments, but no one has maintained them; don’t even ask what we found inside the tuba once we got it apart…).