TusCon 43, Nov. 11-13

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Tucson, TusCon | Comments: 0

Just completed my participant survey for TusCon 43, which is scheduled for Nov. 11-13, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel Tucson Airport, 4550 S Palo Verde Rd. in Tucson.  Good Lord willing and the Creek don’t rise, I will be there this year.  (Had to cancel last year.  Boo.)  GOH is George R.R. Martin, so if you don’t come to see me, come to see him!


Where the the summer go, eh?

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: AZ, Book news, Short Stories, Speculative Fiction, Travel, TusCon | Comments: 0

I spent much of this summer traveling, first to the East Coast to visit family–oh, and take a cruise to Bermuda out of Boston–and then to cooler climates in Arizona to escape the heat. Yes, there are places in Arizona that are balmy during the summer months, such as Payson (tucked under the Mogollon Rim), Prescott (The Mile High City), Flagstaff (7000 ft.) and even Sedona (where Oak Creek Canyon provides shade). We visited a number of local breweries and wineries along our way, hiked and exercised enthusiastically, and I’m finishing up the season only a couple of pounds heavier.

I regret to report that I will not be at TusCon this year, as I have a conflict. But I’ll be thinking of my fans when Halloween rolls around–no one does costumes like the folks at TusCon! I hope to be back in 2016. I also regret that the re-issue of “The Aztec Eagle” (parts 1 & 2) has been delayed. We hoped it would be available this fall, but it looks like early 2016 for that.

Still waiting to hear when “Builders of Leaf Houses” will run in Analog. I’ll be sure to post when I know.


Book Launch: Macbeatha

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Book news, TusCon | Comments: 0

Yes, it’s official:  “Macbeatha” is now available through your favorite online retailers, in ebook or paper format.  Thanks to my hard-working editor, April L’Orange, for seeing the project through.  And I hope to see some of you at TusCon this year, which starts on October 31 at the Hotel Tucson City Center (InnSuites).  What a great place to be on Halloween!


TusCon, here I come!

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: AZ, Tucson, TusCon, Uncategorized | Comments: 0

No, I haven’t misspelled the name of my home town.  I’m referring to the best little local SFF convention–TusCon–which takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2014.  That’s right, Halloween!  I don’t normally dress in costume for TusCon, but I may make an exception this year.  Look for Daft Kate in her medieval garb…or Elivira, Mistress of the Dark…or…


Coconino Book 2 Now Available

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Book news, Coconino, TusCon | Comments: 0

I just checked the Phoenix Pick website, and “Children of the Earth” is now available for purchase as ebook or paperback from amazon.  I finished proofing the galleys for that last of the trilogy, “The Earth Saver,” before we went cruising, so I’m hoping it, too, will be on the market by the time TusCon rolls around at the end of October.  Hope to see you all there!


The Play’s the Thing

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Theater and plays, Tucson, Writing and Publishing | Comments: 0

I was a theatre major way back in the day, and my first writing success was as a playwright.  I drifted away from it when I found out novels pay better, but now and then I get the urge to go back.  It’s usually sparked by attending a live performance.  So last week I saw Winding Road Theatre’s dynamic production of “Cabaret.”  Forget the film version–the stage show will send chills up your spine when done right, and believe me, this was done right.

No, I don’t have any plans to sit down and write another play.  I’ve just started a new novel, and I have two musicals sitting on the shelf because they are so blasted hard to market.  The only way to sell a play is to get it produced, and I refuse to produce my own stuff.  As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m a lousy producer, and my plays deserve someone better.  But seeing that kind of energy, that kind of artistry, up on the stage…it did bring back memories.  One of these days…


TusCon 40 is coming up!

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Book news, Coconino, Tucson, TusCon | Comments: 0

It’s Nov. 8-10, and I’ll be there, bragging about my latest short story sale to the e-zine “Intergalactic Medicine Show.”  It’s a near-future SF piece called “Into the Desolation.”  It will run sometime next spring, probably the March issue, but I’ll post when I have the definite info.  It takes place in a small desert town on the edge of The Time Wastes, where time has fractured and you never know when you’ll wind up.

TusCon is a great little con, not huge so you get a more intimate experience, a chance to visit with the pros, take part in the costume competition, etc.  Find out more here:


I’ll be on a two-part panel on time travel–very apropos, considering the story I just sold!  Oh–and Part II is on Friday, while Part I is on Sunday.  Should be interesting.

I’m also tickled that my trilogy will be coming back into print early next year.  “The Earth Is All That Lasts” is in process, and I’m proofing the galley for “Children of the Earth” now.  Again, no definite pub dates yet, but I’ll post when I have them.

See you at TusCon!


First breath of autumn

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Tucson, Writing and Publishing | Comments: 0

It was 60 degrees when I woke up this morning, the first time the temperatures in Tucson have dropped that low since last May.  Ahhh!  I don’t care if it gets up to 90 today, autumn is coming.  We’re on the cusp.

I’ve been semi-retired–not from writing, of course–since last November, and although it wasn’t my idea, I have to say I like these 5-day weekends. And now that the weather is moderating, I’m looking forward to spending more time outside.  There’s not much yard space in my 10-per-acre lot, but I’ve acquired a new outdoor hobby:  walking the neighborhood picking up trash.  Really.  I take a grocery bag, wear a rubber glove, and get a bit of bending and stretching to go with my heel-strikes.  (Woman over 30, pay attention–you need load-bearing exercise and heel-strikes to preserve your bones.)  I read somewhere that neighborhoods that are well-kept and show pride of place have less trouble with litter, so I think of it as creating a milieu that breeds a better milieu, but that’s not why I do it.  Truth be known, I’m something of a compulsive personality.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  (My mother would laugh–she remembers my bedroom when I was growing up.  I was *not* a neat freak.)

So with this extra time on my hands, am I writing more books?  Tons of short stories?  Not really.  I have a stockpile I’m trying to sell, so I spend a lot of time editing existing works and sending out queries.  And waiting.  I hate waiting.  Waiting is not my strong suit.

But I have a new book idea germinating, an SF/Fantasy novel that has reminded me of the second most important question in writing fiction.  The first, of course, is:  What if…?  The second is:  Why?  Why do the characters do what they do?  Why does the action take place here and not there?  And why should the reader care?

Much to ponder.


May 21st

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Tucson, Writing and Publishing | Comments: 0

I made it till almost 8:30 this morning with all the windows open.  Then I could feel the house getting warmer, so I closed everything and turned on the AC.  Welcome to Tucson.

I’ve been editing a novel I wrote in 1997.  It’s amazing how things have changed in the past 15 years.  The Internet was new, and the characters use a dial-up connection.  People think one of the characters looks like Antonio Banderas because he has a ponytail.  Another character makes a joke about Loni Anderson.  Do readers today even know who Loni Anderson is?  I think they’ll remember the A Team, but I’m not sure.

Back to work.


Tiny Ants

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: AZ, Tucson | Comments: 0

I’ve been scouring the ‘Net to see if the EPIC Award winners have been posted yet, and I can’t find them.  So on to another topic …

It’s spring here in Tucson, which means that any day now the tiny ants will start showing up in my kitchen sink.  The first time they appeared, we tried spraying under the sink and all around the edge of the house, but it quickly became clear that they were coming up through the drains, so spraying was ineffective.  Pretty much everything was ineffective.  The tiny ants had their trails and pathways established long before humans built houses, and I expect they’ll still be here long after our concrete and stucco buildings have crumbled to ruin.

The neighbors have tried various remedies, toxic and non-toxic (for we are an eco-conscious neighborhood), but after a few months, or a few weeks, or a few days, the tiny ants are back.  Myself, I have learned to keep a vinegar-based spray cleaner on hand.  When I’m through working in the sink, I spray all the surfaces with the vinegar cleanser.  I don’t know if it’s the acid in the vinegar or something else that the ants don’t like, but it keeps them pretty well at bay–as long as I don’t leave food of any kind on the counter.  A jar of honey with a drip, a fleck of orange juice pulp that didn’t get down the garbage disposal, and the tiny ants are all over it.

No, I’m not looking for alternatives.  I’m happy to co-exist with the tiny ants, as long as my vinegar spray keeps them from encroaching on my countertops.  Pax insecta.  Just don’t leave the door open and let the scorpions in.