me

A jam day

Blueberry Earl Grey, to be exact.

the finished product
the finished product

 

Used this recipe. Wondered why I couldn’t use fresh-squeezed lemon juice, so googled. The issue is apparently the need for sufficient acidification. But according to this article, lemons that one finds in a typical US grocery store are sufficiently acidic for use in all canning EXCEPT FOR MEYER LEMONS, WHICH ARE NOT. So, I guess I could have used fresh lemon juice. Since I wasn’t planning on giving any of the jam away, I would be the only person at risk of nastiness. Given that jam doesn’t last long around me, it probably doesn’t matter what I use.

Mistakes were made. I have never used pectin as a setting agent in jam before, so I simply noted Sure-Jell on my grocery list. Went to the store yesterday, and found that there were three different types: regular, less-or-no sugar added recipes, and All Natural. Of course, I picked the All Natural, which proved to be the wrong type; I should’ve bought the less/no sugar added. But I had already put the berries on the stove to cook, so I figured Hell with it and went ahead.

Oh, I also found that I had bought decaf Earl Grey instead of regular.

BE THAT AS IT MAY, I made the jam. I jarred the jam. See above photo. It’s in the fridge now, still slightly warm. However, it does appear to be setting. It may remain a little runnier than desirable–I’ll know more in 12-24 hours–but I shall endeavor to cope. It does taste good–nice berriness with strong hints of Earl Greyness. I think it’s a keeper recipe. I usually eat jam on toast, but I bet this stuff would rock on pancakes.

In other news, still dealing with tailing ends of Cold From Hell + Las Vegas Relapse. Got a tentative schedule for Wiscon, which looks like it will be fun–will post when it’s finalized. Wishing the weather here in far NE Illinois would warm up.

Oh, and the other day, this happened over on the Twitter:

yikes!
yikes!

 

So yesterday, I mailed off a book.

Mirrored from Taking notes along the way.

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me

Gideon/Jericho dreamcast and other things

I had a chance to consider my dream casting for the Gideon miniseries over at MY BOOK, THE MOVIE:

Lauren Reardon—a 30-something Sandra Bullock. Lauren is an outdoorsy woman who enjoys kayaking, backwoods camping, rock climbing. Girl-next-door attractive, and very down-to-earth. Bullock appeals to me in those respects. She’s always struck me as someone you could run into at the local drugstore or mini-mart and have a friendly, funny no-drama conversation with. But there’s a toughness there, and a sense that something happened to her that she simply does not discuss with anyone.

Follow the link for more.

There’s also a link to the COFFEE WITH A CANINE post from back in November.

This weekend, the BRAIN TO BOOKS CYBER CONVENTION is going on over at Goodreads. I have a booth–stop by and post a comment.

 

Mirrored from Taking notes along the way.

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Busy April

RT Convention prep is ongoing. I’ve had Alex Gordon purse mirrors made. Today, I bought little black bags and tags, eye and sugar skull stickers, little bits of eerie to use as badge decorations. Also, business cards. There will also be candy, but I’m going to get it in Las Vegas.

I’m also editing Contact Imminent in preparation for its reissue next month. I needed to reread it so that I could write the cover copy, and oh dear what was I thinking when I tossed in all those exclamation! points! A bunch of those got deleted.Also, em-dashes. They have their place, and I loves them to bits. But there are limits.

As for today, so many links!!!!!**

Incident on a Small Colony, the one and only Jani Kilian novella, appears this month in Lightspeed Magazine’s ebook issue. Yes, I know it’s available on the website, but if you buy the issue, you also get my Spotlight interview in which I discuss how I came up with the tech and why I took the directions I did with Jani’s character and other aspects of the story. Plus, there’s a lot of other great fiction and reviews. Definitely worth $3.99US.

As for Alex Gordon, she’s interviewed in this month’s issue of THE BIG THRILL. I discuss the development of Lauren Reardon, the different worlds of GIDEON and JERICHO, and how I got started on this writing thing in the first place.

Also, Marie Brennan is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of her first novel and the upcoming release of her new one, IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES, by hosting other writers on her site and asking us questions over the next five days. Today’s question is, What is the earliest story you ever recall writing? I am in awe of the memories of my fellow authors.

**I had to do something with those deleted !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mirrored from Taking notes along the way.

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Checking in…

I’m in the midst of a slam dance here. Articles and an interview due over on the Alex Gordon side of the street. Reformatting Contact Imminent in preparation for ebook conversion and proofreading.

Adjusting to the fact that 2016 is almost 1/6 over.

NE Illinois will get a taste of Spring this weekend. Sunny. Highs in the 50s. Then Winter returns because this is the Midwest in March that we’re talking about.

Just finished breakfast. Time to take Gaby to puppy playcare, then settle in and get some work done.

Later!

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

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A Tuesday

Still in a post-con mindset, catching up on emails and wondering what I missed. Working on Alex Gordon interview questions, LAW OF SURVIVAL prep, counting down to the JERICHO release, and pondering new work. I need to fit taxes in there somewhere. And oh look, it’s already mid-February.

Capricon was fun. Saw a few folks I hadn’t talked to in years, and met some folks I had to that point known only online. The panels went well, too, with much good discussion about the purposes of SF (should it be predictive, or extrapolation, or commentary, or AOTA*), and about new technologies that may help overcome antibiotic resistance.

The con weekend did start out rocky on Friday morning when I rushed out to the car only to find one of my month-old tires had gone flat. Tried to fill it using my little garage compressor, but no go. Luckily, the tire place was on the way–they took the car right in, and fixed the tire. Turns out that I had run over a leveling bolt from a stove or refrigerator. Yup, hit it just right. So yes, the tire was fixed, and I made it to the con with 20 minutes to spare. But it irks me that my BRAND NEW TIRE already has a patch.

Next up–C2E2! Alex Gordon me has a panel; I’ll post all the info when I have it.

Cold and quiet outside today. Gaby is at the vet’s getting her teeth cleaned, so I’ll take advantage of the stillness and get an early start on work….

*All Of The Above

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

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Capricon!

Another month, another convention.

Another drive-a-con. Even better, a commuter-con. I don’t have to pack.

My schedule:

What would SF Look Like in a Science Fiction World? – Friday, 02-12-2016 – 10:00 am to 11:30 am – River B
If starships and robots are part of your everyday life, what would your science fiction be about?

Reading: Kristine Smith – Friday, 02-12-2016 – 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm – River C (Cafe)

Autographing: Dale Cozort, Kristine Smith – Friday, 02-12-2016 – 2:30 pm to 3:15 pm – Autograph Table

Post Antibiotic Era – Saturday, 02-13-2016 – 11:30 am to 1:00 pm – Birch B
What do we do if we run out of antibiotics? Between antibiotic resistant bacteria, and the possibility of civilization falling, it is a distinct possibility that in the near future there will be none left. How can we take care of infections and diseases without them?

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

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Rules of Conflict

…is now available for pre-order on Amazon! Kobo should follow shortly. iBooks is being a pain, so I will post that link when I get things fixed. If you read NookBooks, you will have to wait until the On Sale date of 26 January to buy.

I revealed the cover over on my Facebook Author Page yesterday. It has a very different look compared to the cover of Code of Conduct. More a mystery image. Darker, almost noirish. As I said over on the Facebook post, Rules is in some ways a darker story. Conspiracy like before, yes. Political mayhem. But also survivor guilt, and the struggle to fit in a world that is no longer yours.

Dave Smeds, who designed the Code cover, designed this cover as well. Jani overlooking over a far future Chicago, in the city, but not really part of it.

Rules of Conflict

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

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Fly-by

Not much going on in Kristine Smith land. I did post over at the BookView Café blog about the doggy DNA testing I had performed in order to find out Gaby’s mix. Suffice to say, I was surprised at the results.

It’s Alex Gordon work for the next week as I deal with JERICHO copyedits. Holiday prep will take place as well. So far, the weather has made it feel most unChristmassy. It’s around 30F now and blustery, but it’s possible that it may warm to the 50s and maybe even the 60s next week. No white Christmas.

I took a break from copyedits to bake cookies yesterday. Ina Garten’s Oatmeal-Raisin-Pecan, with added chai spice and toasted coconut. Whole wheat flour and wheat germ instead of white all-purpose. Have one–they’re great with coffee or tea.

Oatmeal raisin pecan toasted coconut whole wheat chai. Good cookies.

Oatmeal raisin pecan toasted coconut whole wheat chai. Good cookies.

 

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

me

So much to do…

…and so little 2015 left in which to do it.

A week has already passed since Code of Conduct launched. There’s an interview over at the Bookview Café website in which I discuss some background and research related to the Jani Kilian series, how I’ve changed over the years as a writer, and how having all day during which to write hasn’t proved the boon to productivity that I thought it would.

In other news, I’ve been working on getting all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed with respect to the Rules of Conflict reissue. The date? January 26, 2016. I will be at Confusion the weekend before, and hope to have copies of the POD edition to show off. In the meantime, I plan to reveal the cover soon–not sure when. It’s very different in tone from the Code of Conduct cover. Dark. Almost noirish. Here’s an early peek at the cover copy:

So many bones, buried so deep. But not deep enough.

After eighteen years, Captain Jani Kilian’s life as a fugitive has ended. Captured by the Service, she now faces court martial. It will surely lead to her execution.

But relations with the idomeni have deteriorated. Jani’s knowledge of that alien race and her friendship with Nema, their ambassador, earn her a reprieve. And if she is able to help stabilize the crisis, she may be in line for a pardon.

Jani knows she should grab this second chance and hang on. But as tensions between human and idomeni mount and her genetically-modified body breaks down, she finds herself locked in a struggle with an adversary who has as much to lose as she, and who will do anything to ensure their secrets remain buried.

Finally, if you check the right sidebar, below the Code cover, you’ll see there’s a place to sign up for my newsletter. The first issue will come out after the holidays. It will be a joint Kristine Smith-Alex Gordon production, and will contain things that won’t be available anywhere else–snippets, background information about my books, first peeks at covers (when possible since Amazon etc often jump the gun), opportunities to enter giveaways for ARCs and other goodies, and whatever other neat things I can think up. Still pondering the frequency, but I believe I can say that they will come out on a bimonthly basis at most, though quarterly is more likely. I reserve the right to send out a special edition in case of amazing news like an award or movie deal–oh that it would come to pass–but the usual disclaimers apply. I won’t flood your inbox with missives, and will never share your email address.

And with that, I shall sign off. I’ll be working on Alex Gordon stuff for the next two weeks as Jericho copyedits are due to drop, so I’m not sure if I will have time to post again before Christmas. As is often the case, I will have to play it by ear.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.