Kittens Make People Smile

It is a truth universally accepted that kittens make people smile. Well, maybe not all people. But me. And you.

In March 2019 I posted about our adventures in integrating two kittens into our household, and the resulting Great Ringworm Wars. Since then we’ve had a few hiccoughs on the road, as well as adventures. First, this is where we came from:


Freya, about 5 months

Sonja, about 6 months







The “girls” have gone from “Eek! There’s another kitten in the room! I’m going to D-I-I-E-E-E!” to “She is my best friend sister from another mother EVER!”

Step One: Hooligans

Continue reading


Ursula K. Le Guin Wins Another Hugo

The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated EditionThe Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illlustrated Edition won the 2019 Hugo for Best Art Book, a special category created by the Dublin convention.

This special book includes everything Ursula K. Le Guin wrote about Earthsea, including all the novels, some short stories, and a lecture she gave on the books.

It is illustrated by Charles Vess, who also won the 2019 Hugo for Best Professional Artist. Ursula made the final selections of the art for the book.

Here at Book View Cafe we are thrilled to see yet another honor for Ursula, though it saddens us that she is not here to join the celebrations.



In an effort to be more present in my own life and to not watch bad TV just to watch, and to spend more time reading and doing family things, we cut the satellite cord and now have just broadcast TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Oddly, I’m not watching any of those. I’m watching a free service called Pluto and bingeing on Midsomer Murders, which I’ve never watched before. And by bingeing, I mean I’m not really watching much, but when I do, this is the show I watch. I’m really enjoying it and I like the characters and the development of the stories. I’m a bit amazed I’ve never watched it before.

More importantly, I’m reading more and writing more and getting out more, and want to figure out how to get out even more and do some stuff I’ve been wanting to do and just haven’t. Like hike, kayak, maybe paddleboard, go rockhounding, and some other things. I had one of those moments where I realized how old I am getting to be and that I’d better get off the stick and start doing some of the things I want to do and stop putting the off. Make them a priority while my body is still working decently well. It’s funny how easy it is to put things off until later and then later doesn’t come. I am going to change that.

My son is headed off to college this fall, which is going to radically change some things for me. It’s going to be an adjustment. My daughter is in marching band with pretty much competitions or practices every weekend until around Thanksgiving. Plus I have deadlines. All the same, I’m going to find places to go and hike with the dogs. Go to the coast. Go do things. See things. Learn things.

In a few years when my daughter graduates high school, we plan to downsize so that we are more free to do things. This house is too big now that the kids won’t be spending all their time here. Not that we’ll kick them out. Just that we could easily lose a thousand square feet and still have plenty of room.

**All these realizations brought to you by recent events with elderly parents and other life experiences.


Worldcon Report 7: Programming

All the programming here in Dublin is mobbed. People have to line up to get into the panels, and the con volunteers have painfully, by trial and error, figured out how and where to create the queues and how to delineate them with tape on the floors. When the room is cram-jammed full they have to turn attendees away. There are a load of Euro writers who are new to me. All of them are smart as can be. My role is to contribute spontaneity. As a result the “Writing Beyond King and Colony” panel did not stick to the outline the moderator had so valiantly generated, but a good time was had by all.

And here we are at the “Human Cost of Time Travel” panel.

WorldCon panel


Exploring Your New World, Part 1

Today, I flattened fifty or more moving boxes. Now my deck is clear, and I can see the birdbath. More on this later.

My husband is particle board-averse. I, on the other hand, have nothing against particle board. Inexpensive and—from a distance inhibiting close inspection—nice looking. Growling at each other, we assembled a CD rack. It looks very nice in our new living room. When my book case came, I opted for self-assembly, having learned what NOT to do from the previous project and preferring to NOT have to listen to my husband’s multiple complaints.

The instructions were inadequate, being in three different languages, one of which luckily was English. But with the illustrations and the little bags of “hardware” being correctly labeled, I got through the process with electric drill, screw-driver, and hammer. It also looks very nice in my new office.

Continue reading


Worldcon Report 6: Dublin

Going to Worldcon always involves travel. And what is the point of travel but eating interesting new foods? Ireland is full of fascinating meals.

The other main thing to do at Worldcon is no, not necessarily panels. That can be tomorrow’s post. Today we get together with friends! Here we are eating seafood at Matt the Thresher south of the Liffey with Eric Choi, his wife, and also Elizabeth Crowens. Behold the thrilling decor of this restaurant — Dublin is an intensely literate city.

Dinner with friends

And then there is business. Here is the Book View Cafe luncheon in which dark plans are being laid for another enterprise. A shared-world anthology, or perhaps world domination is a better plan.

BVC members at WorldCon


The Rambling Writer Explores More Greek Islands, Part 35: Sacred Delos

Delos, ancient hub of the Cyclades Islands, is the birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis. Here are highlights of my own pilgrimage.

NOTE: Since our recent trip to Greece to research more settings for my novel-in-progress, THE ARIADNE DISCONNECT, Thor and I knew we had to return to this magical region. My first entry in this new blog series posted here on Saturday, 10/20/2018. It gives an overview of our rambles from Athens to seven islands in the Dodecanese and Cyclades groups, ending our ferry-hopping pilgrimage on the anciently sacred island of Delos.

I was excited to end our Greece trip with a boat excursion from Mykonos and day tour of Delos and its extensive ancient site. It’s one of the most important sites in Greece, settled by the 3rd millenium B.C. The original inhabitants were apparently pirates who were expelled by King Minos of Crete, when the Cretans dominated trade in the Mediterranean and Aegean. The later development of Greek Olympian mythology held that the twin deities Apollo and Artemis were born on the island. Apollo became the main deity worshipped here, along with many others, including Dionysos and the Egyptian Isis. Continue reading