“Native Seeds” in Lightspeed

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: AZ, Coconino, Short Stories, Uncategorized | Comments: 0

The issue of Lightspeed with a reprint of “Native Seeds” is now available online, for those of you who missed its premier in Analog.  The paper and ebook should be available through Amazon shortly.

Somehow I never had the opportunity in either venue to explain that this novella is a prequel to my Coconino trilogy, also available through online bookstores.  It’s set in southern and central Arizona after famine and other catastrophes have driven most of the population to colonial planets in distant solar systems.  Those who remain find themselves facing age-old questions about culture, survival, and self-determination.


“Native Seeds” is in Nov/Dec issue of Analog

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

I just peeked at the upcoming issue information, and my novella “Native Seeds” will run in the next issue of Analog. This is a foundation story for The People who appear in the Coconino trilogy. I think you’ll enjoy meeting Alfonso and his friend Chico.


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.


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…


Coming up for air

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

I cut 16,000 words out of the novel I’m editing, and now I need to let it sit for a while.  I also just got the digital galley for “The Earth Is All That Lasts,” which is coming out as an ebook from Phoenix Pick, and I’m…stalling before I start on it.  Just don’t feel like getting my head into that today.  And I’m still fiddling with the ending of a short story and have to let that rest again, too.  So what better time to post on my blog?

But let’s skip the writing topics and talk family for a minute.  Our younger daughter and her husband are opening a brewpub in Prescott Valley, AZ–exciting times!  More news when I have it.  And our other son-in-law is applying for a position in the same town.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have them all so close by?  My husband retires soon.  We’ll be able to travel more, spend a little time helping the kids with their exciting projects.

Writers never really retire.  Sometimes I get discouraged and think I should, but then I get back into a novel or short story I’m working on and I get all wrapped up in it again.  Then I know I’ll never quit.  Now, if I could just find an agent who believed in me who didn’t retired, die, or leave the agency….  Yeah, I know, helps if I put queries in the mail.  Another thing on my to-do list, right after proofing “The Earth Is All That Lasts.”



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.


Autumn in Tucson

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: AZ, Enrique, EPIC Award | Comments: 0

Here it is, mid-October, and fall has finally come to Tucson.  From 5:30-8:30 every morning.  After that, summer is back.

But I know the holiday season is just around the corner, because we are working on holiday songs with our band. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (yeah, that’s a stretch) and White Christmas.  (Hey, it could happen.  In fact, it did happen, once.  Nineteen eighty-something.)

Enrique doesn’t like cold weather.  The cold of a jet at 30,000 feet, fine; but the bitter cold of the canyons in the Crystal Desert … and yet that’s where he went once, to rescue a downed pilot.

Still waiting to hear about a contract on that book.  Oh, yeah, and the EPIC Award it has been nominated for.  As my friend Anne used to say, “Patience is a virtue.”  I always thought she was the one who struggled to be patient; turns out it’s me.

Enrique will be back soon.  Unless he keeps making those remarks about my blue beer.