Fun tool

This wasn’t exactly designed for writers, but
project planning with easy drag-and-drop and visual layout made me pounce. If you’re looking for a work-flow tool, this online service is worth a look.

SOPA/PIPA roundup

Since everybody else is so brilliant and cogent in their arguments about why SOPA/PIPA is a Very Very Bad Idea, here is your roundup: 

1. Making Light here (er, what they said about Macmillan) and here

2. Boing Boing

3. The Oatmeal does it with pictures

4. John Scalzi with a pro writer’s perspective

The Daily Coyote
on what would never have been under SOPA/PIPA (and for the record, Shreve, I loved your book)

And what do I think? I think the entertainment industry has persuaded the government to temporarily lose their damn minds. Because if anybody thinks Occupy is an issue now, wait until the 99% who depend on the internet directly or indirectly for their income are unemployed AND unable to download porn. There’ll be bloody revolution in the streets. Which is exciting to read about in fiction and history, but would you want to live through it? Me, neither. So here’s hoping for a hefty dose of sanity in the water supply in DC. In conclusion: keep America working and downloading porn. Down with SOPA/PIPA.

(In all seriousness, yes, piracy is a huge problem. Yes, it personally costs me money. That doesn’t mean that blowing up the internet is the answer. And I’m sure more people use the internet for Wikipedia than porn or piracy.)

Roped and Wolf at the Door

In book news: Roped (Cleis anthology Cowboy Lust) will be out in print Aug. 14 and it’s already up for
! This means I need to update the website and give it a book page. And also that you can pre-order it, yeehaw.

Wolf at the Door has a lovely ebook cover and as soon as I finish wrestling the formatting and upload, it will be available for download. Since my kids keep having days off of school, I’m still wrestling. But meanwhile, look, pretty cover! (click to embiggen)

How to really prepare for a snow day in Western Washington

So Western Washington is about to get hit with a snowpocalypse. And people in places like Michigan and New Hampshire will point and laugh, but really, when you aren’t equipped for winter and have lots of steep hills, a little snow makes a fairly big problem. Right now people may be doing foolish things like stocking up on milk and dry cereal, but here’s what you really need to do to get ready for being snowed in when you live here:

1. Find heavy wool socks to wear under your Birkenstocks.

2. Locate extra quilts and blankets so when the heat goes out and temperatures plunge to 32F, you can stay warm.

3. Make sure your kids’ devices have fresh batteries in them/and or are fully charged.

4. Make sure YOUR devices have fresh batteries/full charge. You know which ones matter most to you.

5. This includes your cell phone, so when the phone lines go down you can tweet about it.

6. Make lots of notes so you can tell posterity about the time it snowed in Seattle/Port Townsend/Other Western Wa locale where snow is something you drive to a mountain to ski on, not something you actually live with.

7. Download lots of ebooks to read on the fully charged device of your choice. Because Whispernet doesn’t work even if you aim it directly at Amazon’s headquarters when there’s no power or internet.

8. Cursing Amazon doesn’t help. Even if you do it on foot and in person.

9. There are always print books and those don’t require charging.

10. Send your kids outside to play in the snow while you read. They won’t get to do it again until the next time you drive up to Hurricane Ridge/Mount Rainier/other favorite place to be a snow tourist. And you won’t have to cover anything when they ask what you’re reading.