Friday, August 22, 2014

Not As Tech-Stupid As I Thought...

So my latest self-torture project is to learn enough HTML and CSS to be able to build my own eBooks from the ground up. I know what you're thinking: But Jaye, you're always going on about how tech-stupid you are! How can this possibly be a good thing?

Here's the secret: *whispers* I'm not really tech-stupid. It's actually more like tech-lazy. In my other life, I was a ceramic engineer and I worked in the nuclear waste industry. I was rather shocked to discover that some of those skills are actually transferable... although, you know, not the really interesting ones relating to the Care and Feeding of Weapons-Grade Plutonium. And not the ones about How to Avoid Having Your Reproductive Organs Irradiated. (Useful Hint: showing the source your arse can help, but only for certain types of radiation.) And definitely not the ones relating to how they figure out how much dose it took to kill you if there's a Horrifying Incident involving neutrons. (Useful Hint: it's a neutron dosimeter affectionately referred to as a toe-tag.)

Unfortunately, the transferable skills I'm talking about have to do with all that useless boring frustrating coding experience I had in graduate school, back in the days when Windows was called DOS, and most of our lab equipment wouldn't recognize a computer if it came up and bit it on the arse. In those days, I had to write my own data analysis program and design my own graphical user interface. It was painful. And slow. But it got the job done a lot faster and with a lot more accuracy than if I'd had to do it the old-fashioned way, with a slide-rule calculator, scissors, and library paste.

And it made everyone in my research group think I was a Coding God of Unparalleled Brilliance. *mwahahahaha!*

Believe it or not, there is a twisted and deviant part of my brain that actually enjoys coding and finds it rather soothing *ducks to avoid thrown objects*. HTML/CSS makes total sense to me. I've yet to try putting together an eBook file, but nothing I've read so far smacks of black magic. Who'd have thought?

What's really sad, though? I'm actually sort of geeked about the prospect of building eBook templates.

I think I need to get out more.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Update, August 2014

1. Gremlin's Last Run is still on track for a September/October release. I'll be able to be a bit more specific about the release date once this round of edits is done. Also, look for the cover reveal at the beginning of September.

2. The dragon shifter story, Burn the Sky, is out for beta. The cover is done (and it's gorgeous--there are dragons!), and the draft I sent off to the beta readers runs around 60,000 words. I'd like to have this one out by the end of the year, but it'll depend on how much work it needs... and how much life interferes!

3. Ghost in the Mythe (Book 3 of Guardians of the Pattern, and sequel to Gremlin's Last Run) will be next up. This is Miko's story. The first draft is written, and my next job is to give that a read-through and fix it up before sending it out to the beta readers. This one is in much better shape than Gremlin's Last Run was, so I'm hoping it'll go a bit faster.

Looking further ahead, I'm planning to wrap up the Guardians of the Pattern series in 2015 with book 4, Wildfire Psi, which tells Luka's story. The series was originally intended to be five books, but the fifth one (which is already written) would work so much better as the first book of a second series, and since these characters are far from done with me, that's how it's going to go. More on that later! Also in the works is a fantasy trilogy, working title: Kingmakers. The first draft of that one is already written, but will need much in the way of taming, I think. I also have some ideas for more adventures with Ash and Tor kicking around in my head, one of which is absolutely screaming to be written, so that one may come sooner rather than later.