When Scrolls Gave Way to Codices

I understand that this has been around for a while, but I just encountered it a few weeks ago. I laughed hard enough that I whimpered, so naturally I had to share it with you. Enjoy!

That was me when I was given my first iPod. “Where is the manual?” I asked. And was answered: “It’s online.”

Aaaaack! 😀



5 Quirky Questions from Shantnu Tiwari

Shantnu Tiwari writes quirky humor featuring air conditioned burkas, super villains, and zombies – with an underlayer of satire, skewering the faults and foibles of modern homo sapiens within modern society.

Naturally, when he decided to offer author interviews on his blog, he would do nothing so prosaic as ask a writer what her favorite book was or what influenced her writing. No, he’d find a way insert zombies or super villains into his questions.

Clown Alley Group

I was his first guinea pig to be interviewed, and I can safely report that my experience under his grilling was . . . different!

His first question?

1. You are given a machine that allows you to enter your favorite book as a character. Which book would you choose and why?

My answer?

The first thought that blares in my mind? “Caution! Caution! Caution!” There’s a siren and flashing lights accompanying the warning. Why? My favorite books are dangerous! Okay, the books aren’t dangerous, but their settings are.

If I were to choose The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (a top favorite of mine), I’d be coping with a country much like medieval Spain, but with demons and gods trolling their ephemeral fingers through my mind and my life. No. Just . . . no!

What if I chose one of my own books?

Not much better. The age of steam in my North-lands is a little more civilized than the Spanish medieval period: flush toilets and regular bathing and respect for women. But insane incantors with powerful magic erupt unexpectedly in the midst of . . . anywhere at all, and wreak destruction on all in their path toward the wastelands and safety.

Gregor and Laisa dance on their wedding dayI think I’d best choose A Civil Campaign, also by Bujold. It’s another favorite book, and the setting includes amenities such as galactic medicine and anti-grav tech.

Which character? Kareen Koudelka. She grows up in a stable and happy family. She is able to claim her own autonomy without the violence of war and terror that seems to dog the footsteps of so many Bujold heroes and heroines. She gets to see Roic – a handsome, young armsman – naked (or almost naked) and coated in “bug butter”! (Read the book!) She becomes a powerful and successful business woman. She gets to have Mark – the more self-aware Vorkosigan brother who manages to learn how to be a real partner to the love of his life. Yes! Kareen.

The other 4 questions posed by Shantnu are equally unique, and my answers . . . ? Well, let’s just say that you are unlikely to find me talking about superheroes and the President of Uzbekistan anywhere else!

Plus, at the close of the interview, there’s a sneak preview of the opening to my upcoming novel Fate’s Door!

Go check it out on Shantnu’s blog.

For more about Shantnu on my blog, check out his zany book covers:
Cover Makeovers



The Conference Call

I saw this parody of a phone meeting when the Passive Guy featured it on his blog, The Passive Voice.

Made me chuckle so much I had to share it with you all. 😀

My husband – who works for a large international corporation, is home-based here at Casa Ney-Grimm, and attends many phone meeitngs – assures me that this video is true to life in every respect. 😉 He has witnessed all too many of the depicted incidents.


A…Not Exactly Sad Story

art by Kay Nielsen depicting a queen in her gardenThere I was: smack in the middle of revisions on Livli’s Gift.

Mahde had slung his arm across Livli’s shoulders. Thoivra glared at them both. It was tense.

Then my computer screen went black. The fan shut off.

Hmm. This had happened 3 days ago. Being no tech expert, I let the laptop cool — it was very warm — and pushed the on button.

No go.


Ah! Happiness and light! The hard drive started spinning. The screen came to life. And the start-up process moved forward. I was back in business, getting Livli ready for publication.

I worked all Wednesday and all Thursday. One more day, and the revisions would be complete! Friday was the day!

Indeed, it was.

Friday was the day the computer screen went black, and no amount of button-pushing would change it.

My local, friendly IT shop couldn’t fit me into their schedule until Monday, and that was that. I toted the laptop to their premises, left it, noted the hollow feeling in my middle — no computer! eek! — and went home to devote myself to family and neglected household chores.

Come Monday morning: no word.

Monday afternoon: still no word.

Monday evening: nothing all day.

What happened?

As it chanced, vacation, in-shop miscommunication, and an avalanche of other clients pushed me into limbo. They more than made it up to me when they caught their glitch, so no hard feelings, but the news on Tuesday was dire.

There would be no resurection for my electronic necessity.

I’d known for a while that a new computer lay in my future. I hadn’t planned on that future arriving quite so immediately, but . . . the time was now.

Mere minutes after the fateful phone call I was in the car on my way to the store. Half an hour after that, I was home with a new machine. And that evening I viewed the carcass of the old machine while the IT gentleman transferred my files from the old hard drive to the new . . . not hard drive. (The new computer has a solid state form of memory with no moving parts. Like a giant flash drive. Cool!)

While we waited for files to transfer, I received a gratis tour of my new possession along with tips on Time Machine and Roku, plus the downloading of the latest OpenOffice software. Thank you, Jeremiah! It was a much-needed education.

So, now I was all set, right?

Not exactly.

I was all set for finishing the Livli revisions. And I’ve done so. My readers are checking the manuscript now. I hope to publish soon!

B-u-t . . .

That was a jouncy 5 days there. Days when none of my work got touched (let alone done). And I’ve still got clean-up to do, software to purchase.

Which means . . . this sad story is my blog post for the week! Perhaps the title should be: We Are Techno-Dependant!




Beauty, Charm, Cyril & Montmorency

I′ve shared many of my favorite non-fiction reads with you. I thing it′s long past time that I share favorite fiction! Here are four of the best.

illustration of rosesBeauty′s given name is Honour. Her nickname comes of a child′s childlike error, but the name chosen by her parents is no mistake. That quality will get her into trouble and out again in the course of this fabulous retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty at Amazon

Beauty at B&N


illustration showing Cat and Gwendolyn ChantYoung Cat Chant endures great changes and great losses, all the while clinging to his big sister Gwendolyn. But Cat must learn to stand on his own two feet and to make his own decisions. The safety of his world depends on it.

The Chronicles of Chrestomancy I:
Charmed Life
& The Lives of Christopher Chant
at Amazon

The Chronicles of Chrestomancy I:
Charmed Life
& The Lives of Christopher Chant
at B&N


montage image of cathedral, cat, Ned, VerityA romp through miscommunication, cross purposes, and the Victorian era turns serious when time travel creates a paradox. Ned Henry sets off to correct the anomaly with the goal of doctor-prescribed recuperation from time lag after he restores the space-time continuum, but said restoration grows more complex by the minute.

To Say Nothing of the Dog at Amazon

To Say Nothing of the Dog at B&N


illustration of men boating on the ThamesGeorge, Harris, J, and J′s dog embark on a boat trip up the Thames River in search of rest, recuperation, and recreation. The three men agree that their livers or other organs are out of order and office work is the cause. Rest and recuperation receive short shrift, but humorous adventure ensues.

Three Men in a Boat at Amazon

Three Men in a Boat at B&N


For more of my favorite reads, check these posts:
Duplicity, Diplomacy, Secrets & Ciphers
Mistakes, Missteps, Shady Dealing & Synchronicity
Courtship and Conspiracy, Mayhem and Magic
Gods & Guilt, Scandals & Skeptics