Almost There

I might have just done the second last pass of proofing and revising The Francesians. The changes I’m making are getting pretty trivial and that’s a good sign that there’s not much left to do. I figure one more week and I’ll be able to call it finished. Then it’s just a matter of the mechanics of preparing the various formats and creating the cover. I estimate that it will be ready for release by the end of this month.

It’s an odd combination of anticipation, impatience and a vague dread. Oh well, it’s not as bad as the first time.-)


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Update on The Francesians

Public Domain

Public Domain

There’s not much blogging going on here on Green Comet lately. That’s because I’m immersed in proofing and revising the novel, The Francesians. The temptation is to get it over with and put the thing out there, but my sense of duty won’t let me do it. This is the finale of the Green Comet trilogy and I’m responsible for its quality. I don’t have editors and publishers sending me galley proofs for my approval, so I won’t have anyone to blame but myself if it’s not right. I also owe it to my readers, especially the ones who have supported me in this adventure, to give them something worthy of their time.

Thank you for your patience.


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Extension Twelve – Underground

Credit Sergey Pesterev – CC-BY-SA

Extension Twelve of the Green Comet trilogy is available for download in the usual formats. Choose the one best suited to your reading habits, or take all of them and see what it’s all about. Since this extension almost finishes book three of the trilogy, you might want to download the two previous books and the three previous extensions to see what’s already happened before you read this. If that’s what you decide to do, then you can just download everything on the downloads page. It’s free for you, and good for me.-) Get caught up with Elgin and Frances. Learn what dangers they face, and how they deal with them.

Extension twelve is about 37,000 words. That’s about half of a small novel.

Next up after this is the final grooming and publication of novel three — The Francesians — including an epilogue. Then I’ll be recording it for your listening pleasure.


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Don’t touch those wires! Photo credit: NOAA – Public domain

New Word of the Day – Bombogenesis

Today’s new word of the day — a form of neologism* — is bombogenesis. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, bombogenesis is a noun meaning the development and intensification of a major storm. It comes from the recent tendency to describe a major storm as a “snow bomb” or “weather bomb.” Lisa Suhey has written an article for the Christian Science Monitor that explains the term bombogenesis and a few others, including blizzard. The weather service has been using bombogenesis for a while, and they even have specific criteria for it, including “when a storm’s area of lowest surface pressure experiences a rapid drop of more than 24 millibars in 24 hours.” Her article also clarifies what makes a blizzard, and it’s not just a lot of snow. To qualify as a blizzard, in addition to a lot of snow, there must be wind-driven snow that reduces visibility to zero for more than three houfs, with wind greater than 35 MPH (56 KPH.)

*I differentiated “new word” from “neologism” because to get into my New Word of the Day series, the word must be in a dictionary as a new word, while a neologism isn’t necessarily in a dictionary yet. It might have just been invented by a witty punster or a schizophrenic.

Has any of my readers ever lived through a snow bomb?


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Conservatives Distrust Higher Education

Graduation ceremony – Hendrick van der Burgh – Public Domain

There is a growing distrust of higher education among political conservatives. The linked Chronicle of Higher Education article discusses the phenomenon as it pertains particularly to American politics.

A majority of Republicans and right-leaning independents think higher education has a negative effect on the country, according to a new study released by the Pew Research Center on Monday. The same study has found a consistent increase in distrust of colleges and universities since 2010, when negative perceptions among Republicans was measured at 32 percent. That number now stands at 58 percent.

For years, higher education has been viewed favorably by liberals and less so by conservatives, Mr. Gross said, but political controversies in the past year have drawn attention and increased the negative perception. Protests and incidents of speakers being actively opposed or threatened by students are widely reported, he said, and are often one of the few ways in which the general population encounters college campuses.

A change in the demographics of both parties has also influenced the mistrust of colleges, he said. Whereas 50 years ago, the best predictor of conservative alignment was a high level of education, Mr. Hopkins said, “the popular base of the Republican party is less and less white-collar professionals and is more and more white working-class non-college-educated voters.”

It probably makes sense for conservatives to want their supporters to be less well educated. I wonder what they would consider the optimum level of education. Presumably they would want them to be able to read a little, and be able to do some simple arithmetic, but nothing too sophisticated. Check out the linked article for a deeper look.

via Most Republicans Think Colleges Are Bad for the Country. Why? – The Chronicle of Higher Education


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Update – Extension Twelve

Ice Cave – Sergey Pesterev CC-BY-SA

I’ve finished writing the first draft of Extension Twelve and I’m into editing and revision. Within a couple of weeks I’ll be releasing it for download. Then I’ll put the extensions together and spend some time editing and revising the novel, and adding an epilogue. The novel — The Francesians — will be out soon, and then it’s on to the recording. It’s exciting, but I’m going to miss my fountain pens during this time of less writing. Can’t wait to start the next one.-)


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