The Bone Road podcast available

The podcast of The Bone Road is available here at Podiobooks for free. It’s 27 episodes of about 30 minutes each.

Podiobooks has a new and completely revamped website, some parts of which I really like and other parts still in development. One of the things not yet functional is the ratings system, and another is the New Podcasts widget, so even though The Bone Road is very new, you won’t find it listed there. Use the link above or the search function. It’s also available on iTunes, in the podcast section.

Enjoy! I’d love some feedback (I think they have the Comments working) even if you can’t rate it aside from ‘Like’ on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: They have a new row of thumbnail features, New Releases, up and running. And there is The Bone Road, front and center. Site is coming back up to full functionality really fast, thank you Evo Terra!

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:

The New Releases on Podiobooks is working wonderfully. I’ve had over 3,000 downloads for The Bone Road since it came out. I’ve also noticed a splash effect on Matcher Rules, where the downloads are up also. And, more importantly, feedback indicates the listeners have noticed the improved quality on the recording of The Bone Road. I’m very happy with that, because all that hard work in August is paying off.

Goodreads Giveaway Completed

I’ve just returned from the local post office, where I mailed ten copies of Matcher Rules to the ten winners of the Goodreads giveaway. Six were sent to U.S. addresses, two to Canada, and two to the U.K. I sent everything out Priority Mail (or overseas equivalent) so the winners should have their books quite soon, although I can’t control any customs delays.

If you’ve received a winner’s notice from Goodreads and your copy does not arrive in a reasonable time, please email me.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and I hope you enjoy the book.

 

Reviews and Re-reading

I’ve never counted but I must have between 2,000 and 3,000 books in this house. It’s a small house and I have to fit in a husband and two inside cats, but of course the books come first. I do have a teensy collection on the iPad, but I prefer paper.

Every so often, when the stacks rise up from the floor and I start double-shelving, I weed and reluctantly toss a few cartons. Sometimes I end up re-purchasing the discarded titles.

I re-read constantly. I’ve done so all my life. I can remember checking the same titles out of the public library over and over, returning to my favorites. Back then, as a child, I couldn’t purchase the books and most were out of print anyway. I was lucky back then: it was a very good public library. Where I live now doesn’t have a good library. Years and years of bad decisions and shrinking budgets have ripped the heart out of it. But, bless it, there’s the internet and if it isn’t in print I can find it, and buy it. And keep it.

What have I got? Old mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, some memoirs, autobiographies, a few good biographies, references and commentaries on the above. If I like an author, I tend to collect everything they’ve written, so I have a complete run of old John D. MacDonald, Laurence Block, and Patrick O’Brian, who doesn’t fit in the above genre categories and the hell with the categories. I have John Sandford and J.K. Rowling, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Elizabeth Moon, and Laurie King. I have Margaret Kennedy and Muriel Sharp. And a few hundred more: Tanya Huff, Walter Jon Williams, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, it goes on and on. Twenty years ago I gave up on random shelving and put them on the shelves by author, not because I was working as a librarian but because I kept purchasing books I already owned.

As I’ve said somewhere else on this blog, I’m late to Goodreads. I’ve thought of starting a project to list all my titles and post reviews of everything because heaven knows I have opinions on it all. Frankly, 3,000 reviews is a bit daunting to think about, plus Goodreads doesn’t have a “re-read” category, so it would look a bit strange to read a few thousand books in six months. Not to mention the “date read” box. Sometimes I’ve picked up a title on the day of publication and sometimes I’ve been, again, late to the party.

At the rate I read, and have read for many years, my collection is only a fraction of what I have gone through. If I’ve kept the book in the house, it’s a four star or a five star, because I’ve discarded the stuff I hated or considering the space problem, the stuff I mildly disliked. So the reviews would have a disproportionate amount of high marks, as though I loved everything bound between two covers. Also, now that I am writing my own stories, I have a new sensitivity to comments about plot or characters. Perhaps I am missing the author’s point through not reading carefully. But it is, in the end, the author’s responsibility to attract and keep the readers, not just the friendly ones.

Right now, I’m grinding through creating the plot of my new book. I might, as a break, review a few titles/authors a week and see how far I get. But it is certainly easier to critique other people’s hard work than to do hard work of my own, and that’s not a trap I want to fall into.

Robert White 1940-2012

One of my oldest friends in California died tonight. I met Bob White in or around 1981 when I returned here from graduate school. He owned a house in La Honda and our mutual friend Elena lived in the neighborhood. We used his house as a venue for large potlucks and general get-togethers. After Elena died, he was part of the semi-monthly breakfast group that’s been meeting for 14 years. He was very private, and reserved, even after all this time I’m not sure any of us knew him well. He was into printing and photography, but I knew him for over 5 years before I found out he spent a few years working with Ansel Adams. He never mentioned it. A lot of his energy went into his house, which was constantly under renovation and was never ever finished. I think the kitchen was gutted to the walls and replaced at least three times, maybe more. He carried on a constant battle, especially in the early years, against building inspectors, gophers, and the Cuesta-La Honda Guild, which controls the local water system. He could be single-minded, dogmatic, and he never changed his mind.

I know Bob loved his dog Toyon, his former father-in-law, and our mutual friend Elena. Other than that, he was, as I have said, a very private guy. I know he was a friend, because he kept showing up at all those breakfasts, where he would talk, if prodded, about his recent trips out of state and his current projects. He was always going to move to Colorado; he never did. Elena once did his horoscope: Sun in Leo and everything else in Taurus. He wasn’t an easy man to move.

Characteristically, he dropped the news he’d been diagnosed with kidney cancer into a breakfast conversation last fall. He had surgery to remove the kidney. Stubbornly and proudly he drove himself to the doctors five days after they let him out of the hospital. He was back inside in February and March. The cancer had spread to his brain. They put him on hospice in April, with an estimate of three months. He fought the restrictions, he fought the diagnosis, he hated not being able to drive his car. In this last month, he became bedridden and silent. I’m glad I visited yesterday. I think he knew me. I knew it was the last time.

I’ll miss him. He was, as another easier friend said tonight, always there.