Welcome to the new Mutterings!

You found your way here, thanks for persisting, but have you seen the shiny new look on the LRK web site to your left? Just the first of many changes, so keep checking with us.

But before we get all excited about things, we need to tidy up the Q&As that came in for May 1st. And kindly forgive any oddities and hiccoughs that come with the shift to WordPress.

Q: What happened to the book club with a Grave Talent? That might have really been an April Fool’s joke that escaped me.

A: No joke, except on me. There must be a law of physics that states the faster the end product, the longer it takes to produce. Hence Internet projects take approximately five times what is anticipated to bring to fruition.

The official announcement will be next week, so get your trumpets polished, and if you’re not signed up for the newsletter you really should now.

Q: Susann asks, I have a question about the title of With Child. I’ve always been curious about it, and would love to hear if there were any particular thoughts behind it. It was the first book of yours I ever read; I picked it off the library shelf because the title caught my eye and intrigued me.

A: Any mother knows that even when you stop being pregnant, you are still, now and forever with child. And the wrench when that child vanishes is the emotional equivalent of miscarriage, no matter the child’s age. The book is about the responsibility we all hold for the young, our own and that of strangers.

Q: Roxanne wants to know, Back on February 7th, in regard to Kate Martinelli’s homosexual relationship, you wrote, “Kate’s orientation has enriched my life in too many ways for me to regret whatever choices the back of my mind made in putting her together. And that is worth a percentage of sales any day.” Other than the obvious en-rich-ment from book sales, I wonder–in what other ways has Kate’s orientation enriched your life?

A: I am amused at the idea that one can link the words “rich” with “book sales,” but never mind… Martinelli has provided me with a firm foothold in a community I would otherwise have only have visited occasionally. It’s a little like those old television ads with an actor who plays a doctor—I’m not a lesbian, but I write one, which lends me a certain cachet of respectability.

Q: Kerry says, I have a question about Califia’s Daughters, one of my favorite of your books. In its setting and basic story (utopia/dystopia, etc.) it’s obviously very different from the Russell and Martinelli series. I was wondering if you see or feel any deep similarities — in the characters, e.g., themes, or even your motivation for writing Dian’s story. Thanks!

A: Well, they’re all about strong women. Not the same woman, by any means, and I’m not sure the three would even like each other. And I don’t know that I’d want to be at a dinner party with all three…

Q: Carlina from Costa Rica writes, When you wrote Holmes as saying…Ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years ago, but here, now… did you know then that he and Russell´s relationship was going to go beyond an apprenticeship? Or did that part just write itself? I have always been curious about that and the apopletic fit scene…did he know then?

A: That initial musing on the part of Holmes can be taken as his bemusement at finding himself with an apprentice, after all this time. If the reader suspects there may be more to the future relationship than that, well, that is the writer’s task, to tantalize, is it not?

Q: Gail wants to know, I think I remember you saying that you always have a sort of guiding question or issue for each of your books. I actually think I remember you calling it a theological or philosophical issue. Could you explain that more – or am I completely remembering wrong? If this is your practice can you give us some examples from your books?

A: Hmm, I don’t remember specifically thinking of each book with a philosophical issue, although I do occasionally talk about knowing the flavor of a book before I begin it. The books do have themes, of course—Beekeeper explores the opening of a mind, Monstrous Regiment confronts the choice a woman makes between freedom and commitment, Folly looks at the way a person can rebuild herself—but often I am not aware of the theme until I look back at the finished product and say, “Oh, so THAT’s what it was about.”

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  1. Zoë on May 14, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Looks great! :0)

  2. Vicki Larson on May 14, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Talk about making everything more complicated. I mean, really. And the stuff on the left of your page is all screwed up. The actual writng was great!

  3. Carlina on May 14, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Wow! Loving the new site! I’m now back from Costa Rica and what a pleasant treat to catch up to this new site! I’ve always wondered about that statement of Holmes’…tantilizing indeed! Thanks again as always for answering my question.

  4. Carlina on May 14, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Hmm..I justed posted something and it did not appear so I shall try again. I have just returned from Costa Rica to this pleasant site! What a treat and everything looks great! I’ve always wondered about that statement of Holmes’. It has been interpreted many ways by us diehard Russ/Holmes fans…tantilizing indeed. As always thanks for you time and answering my question. I hope hubby and family are well!

  5. Poodlerat on May 14, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    I love the new “Mutterings”. Welcome to WordPress—hope you like it!

    (One little thing: on the individual post pages (where one leaves/views comments), the main text and comment area is shifted about 200px to the right. Wasn’t sure if you/whoever does your web design had noticed it yet.)

    Potential spoilers for Art of Detection!

    Speaking of Kate being a lesbian, can I say how happy I was about the event at the end of The Art of Detection? I really didn’t see it coming, but it made me smile the whole rest of the day.

  6. Poodlerat on May 14, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Love the new site. Welcome to WordPress—hope you like it!

  7. trix on May 14, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    Yay WordPress!

    (One little thing: on the individual post pages (where one leaves/views comments), the main text and comment area is shifted about 200px to the right. Wasn’t sure if you/whoever does your web design had noticed it yet.)

    I’m experiencing the same problem, in IE and Opera, although the Opera rendering looks much worse. Oh, except that in IE, there’s a big gap at the top of the page as well.

    And while we’re on the topic of website design, I have a couple more suggestions. One, the header image at the top of the page could be “linkified” to return back to the Home page (that’s a common convention, and it’s somewhat irritating to have to hunt around to find “Home” at the bottom of the menu bar.

    Secondly, it’d be nice if the article headlines on the front page were “linkified” to take you to the article, as well as the little tidgy “Read more…” links at the bottom of the intro text.

    Enough of this techie-speak – I’ve always liked this site despite these minor vexations – it’s certainly one of the better-looking and more informative author portals out there. 🙂

  8. Stephanie on May 15, 2007 at 12:02 am

    The new site is awesome! I enjoyed the Q & A’s.

  9. Roxanne on May 15, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Thank you for your response. I would guess that the word “rich” is as applicable to book sales as it is to librarianship.

    Lots of changes to your website/blog. I feel like a cat whose favorite chair has been moved . . . Ah well, new experiences make one stronger.

    I hope that you and your family are doing well.

  10. mcduck on May 15, 2007 at 9:00 am

    The new digs look nice.
    I received the latest Baker Street Journal yesterday, which includes your thoughtful analysis of Watson’s wounds. Nicely done. I’ll shelve that one with the Russell books.

  11. Kerry on May 15, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    As always, thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. I’m looking forward to the book group; great excuse for a great re-read!

  12. TeriPettit on May 15, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    So, I followed the link under “What’s New” that says “Laurie has been named Artist of the Year in Santa Cruz for 2006. To mark the occasion, she did a Writer’s Improv. Follow her progress here.” and the beginning of the haunted house story was fascinating, but “follow her progress” kind of sets you up to expect multiple installments, instead of a single story fragment dated May 20, 2006. It felt so frustrating that the page ended with “To be continued…”, and here it is nearly a year after the workshop at which it was written, and it still hasn’t been continued. Is it ever going to be?? Maybe at the anniversary of the workshop at which it was born? Here’s hoping.

    Please don’t take this as criticism. I wouldn’t be so frustrated if I didn’t find the story intriguing.

    I’d also be very interested in knowing what the submitted “prompts” that spawned the story were. Maybe that could be added to the introduction at the top of the page?

  13. Marcia Diane on May 16, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    O.K. I’m with the lady who feels like a cat whose favorite chair has been moved…maybe that’s because I AM moving and as we know all change is bad. Actually glitches repaired it is a cool site…go Laurie.

    Say, that follow up inquirey about the ‘big’ cats in your yard seems to keep falling off the Q & A edge. Are they there yet? However did the sticky situation resolve itself.

    Thanks again for writing to us all.

    M. Diane

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