Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Where I've been; Where I'm headed

Could this be Rivendell?

It's been 3 weeks since I've posted something to this blog. That may be the longest stretch I've gone between entries in the more than 10 years I've been  blogging here. It's been a difficult time in my personal life as well as the public and political life of the nation and I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling to keep up.

Part of my personal difficulty, these past weeks (and months, to be honest) has been a series of upper respiratory infections that flared up my asthma to a point where I could barely function. Because the personal is political, I will say that because I have good health insurance and access to excellent medical care, I was able to get the diagnostic tests and medications I required to get well.

And I'm at a point where I'm breathing better than it's been in more than 5 years. The swelling in my ankles that had become a chronic thing is gone. My pulmonary function is up and I can walk up a flight of stairs or laugh at a joke without wheezing, coughing, and getting short of breath.

It means I'm walking more and doing more. I've lost 5 pounds in the past 2 months of my recovery, doing nothing more than just being normally active.

Coming to terms with having a chronic disease is as much finding the appropriate management as it is accepting that this is one's reality and baseline. A lot of the past few months has been making that mental adjustment.


It's also been a time of change and opportunity.

About 6 months ago, I found this house, nestled in 54 acres of woods and meadows in Central Massachusetts. We worked on moving the financial equivalent of heaven and earth to make an offer. It took 6 months and there were several points along the way where the deal looked like it had fallen through. Last Friday was our closing. We are now the owners of this incredible house and property.

For now, and the foreseeable future, it will be a weekend/vacation home. I the next 5 - 7 years, it will be where we retire to.

I'm planning to run writing retreats there, as well. Stay tuned!


On the writing front, PARALLAX is out with beta readers and I've already gotten some feedback. Nothing fatal, though I do have some work ahead of me. Which is as it always is. This is why I use beta readers. I'm still on track for a Summer release.

I received a lovely and well-balanced review of DREADNOUGHT AND SHUTTLE from Publishers Weekly a few days ago. Of course, I'll use the good stuff for my pull quote!

"Cohen continues to display her talents for engaging characters and a believable universe in her teen-friendly third Halcyone Space adventure. . . The admirably brave and ├╝bercompetent Dev shines as a stellar addition to the genre. . ."

It feels odd to be between writing projects, as it always does, though I'll be digging into edits soon enough and it gives me time to be at the ceramics studio more.

Oh, and if you'll be at Boskone in February, come find me! I have some great panels and it's always a lovely and thought-provoking con. Here's my schedule:

Katniss, Furiosa, Elsa, and Rey: The New Woman in SF/F Film

Friday 17:00 - 18:00, Harbor III (Westin)
They each made big impressions in big recent genre movies. What do these characters say about the current state of heroic female figures in our cinematic imaginings? What traditions do they uphold or subvert? What promise do they hold for our futures?

So You Wanna Be a Time Lord

Friday 19:00 - 20:00, Marina 4 (Westin)
The time for a new Time Lord is fast approaching. Peter Capaldi is on his third season, which means his stint as The Doctor is likely nearing an end. We've seen speculation about casting the next Doctor, but maybe Capaldi isn't ready to go, especially since his character is starting to gel. What are our hopes for the future? Do we want to keep Capaldi? Whom would we like next? Maybe we can even ask our panelists why they might make a good Time Lord....

Reading by L.J. Cohen

Saturday 12:30 - 13:00, Independence (Westin)

From Maladies to Medicine

Saturday 14:00 - 15:00, Harbor III (Westin)
Panelists share tips and tricks on how to realistically injure and heal your characters. Learn what questions to ask when it comes to the effects of specific injuries. Hear how certain modern and ancient medical practices and medicines can help with healing. Find out how authors make their characters’ pain and recovery feel real and relatable.

Boskone Book Party

Saturday 18:30 - 19:30, Galleria - Stage (Westin)
Join us for Boskone's Book Party! See what's just out from authors you love, and discover new favorites.

When Is It a Gimmick?

Sunday 10:00 - 11:00, Marina 3 (Westin)
Story gimmicks often seem like good ideas at the time — but instead of applause, they get eye-rolls. What is a gimmick, exactly? Are they all created equal? We'll discuss common gimmicks, identifying traits, and ways to transform them into truly fresh ideas.

Autographing: L.J. Cohen, Tamora Pierce, Tui Sutherland, Christine Taylor-Butler

Sunday 11:00 - 12:00, Galleria - Autographing (Westin)



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