Thinking With My Skin*

Natterings and Fulminations by Bill Cameron

*For those who’ve asked: the title of this blog is from the name of my first series character, Skin Kadash.

Property of the State Events

Property of the State officially drops on June 7 (though I know some folks have already received pre-orders). I’ll be making a number of appearances to celebrate, with readings, signings, and pudding cups. I’d love to see anyone who can make it out to one (or more!) of the following events!

Willamette Writers Mid-Valley Authors Gala
June 2 at 7pm
Tsunami Books
Eugene, Oregon

Property of the State Launch Party
June 9 at 7pm
Another Read Through
Portland, Oregon

Property of the State Reading and Signing
June 10 at 7pm
The Book Bin
Salem, Oregon

B-Fest Teen Book Festival
June 11 at 1pm
Barnes & Noble
Eugene, Oregon
Event Flyer

Property of the State Signing along with Bryon Quertermous
June 18 at noon
The Seattle Mystery Bookshop
Seattle, Washington

Property of the State ARC Giveaway: UPDATED

Update 2: Two winners have been selected with the help of a random number generator.

Congratulations to Grace and Dave! And thanks to everyone else.

Update 1: Thanks to everyone who entered. I will do the drawing and announce the winners tomorrow morning—Sunday, May 22. (I’m visiting my adorablest grandsons at the moment, or I’d take do it today.)

It’s just a few short weeks until Property of the State is released, but if you’re feeling impatient, here’s a chance at an early copy.

Everyone who subscribes to my newsletter between May 16, 2016 and May 20, 2016 will be entered to win one of two ARCs of Property of the State. And to sweeten the deal, everyone who signs up will get a free download of my short story “The Missus”—a tale that bridges the worlds of Skin Kadash and Joey Getchie.

Of course, you’re probably wondering what happens next once you’ve signed up for my newsletter. Well, you’ll get news, of course, and announcements. But also witticisms (hopefully witty), occasional round-ups of what I’m reading and why I think you should too, and special offers.

What you won’t get is a lot of emails. My regular schedule will be quarterly, with occasional announcements of special events or appearances peppered in. I won’t fill your inbox every five minutes, and I also won’t sell or share your contact information. And, of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

So for a chance to win an ARC of Property of the State, sign-up between now and May 20th. You’ll get a free copy of “The Missus” too in .mobi, .epub, and .pdf formats for your reading pleasure. (I hope!)

Property of the State by Bill Cameron

The Fine Print. “The Missus” short story is available for free to anyone who signs up for the newsletter. All subscribers between May 16, 2016 at 3:00pm PDT and May 20, 2016 at 11:59pm PDT will be entered into a random drawing for a copy an ARC of Property of the State. Two ARCs will be awarded. However, I can mail the ARCs within the United States only. If a winner lives outside the United States, I will arrange a credit for a free download of Property of the State on the winner’s ebook platform of choice when it becomes available on June 7,  2016.

Creative Commons License
The Missus by Bill Cameron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Say Hello to Frank

Frank demands scritchesFrank is our new family member—and a bundle of floof and attitude he most certainly is. He’s a rescue cat, about two years old. Beyond that, we don’t know too much about his history.

What we do know is he’s spirited and affectionate, though still a little startled by the sudden life change which came about when his previous human had to move abruptly. He found his way to us through an intermediary who didn’t know his former people well, so details are thin. The main thing we know is he needs a home and we’re happy to give him one.

Frank the Writer CatWe’re giving him a few days to get settled in, and then we’ll take him to the vet early next week for a full check-up. He appears healthy, and he certainly has the energy to barge around and stick his nose into things, or flop over and demand scritches. He also has a vertical leap that could land him a spot in the NBA. He also has a lot to say for himself, such that though he came to us as Frank, I’ve referred to him as Talky McCatface many times already.

Now, you might be wondering how the Dark Poodle of the Apocalypse and Lord Tyrant Editorial Cat feel about the new addition. Sadly, I must report they both died last year of complications related to the ailments of old age. Perhaps you are shocked to learn this now, nearly a year after the kitty passed and ten months after the doodle. To be honest, it hit us both very hard, and we spent a long time grieving. Time passed, and it just didn’t feel like something I was ready to talk about. We still miss them both very much—they were part of the family for a long time. But as spring came this year, we both felt it was time to add to the family again.

Hello, Frank!

No Fooling

This month at YA Outside the Lines, the theme is Foolish Things. Check out my own contribution, No Fooling, in which I tell the tale of a prank that almost went wrong in the worst possible way.

Planetary Update

A while back I posted about the Pluto Situation, and in that post I mentioned the then forthcoming New Horizons mission. Well, of course, New Horizons has completed its fly-by of the Pluto system, and as I think most of us hoped, we learned lots of amazing things about the once (and possibly future) planet and its satellites. And, of course, even more will be learned as the data from the fly-by continues to beam back to researchers here on Earth from the Little Probe That Could.

Many others have spoken about our new understanding of Pluto in greater depth and with much more eloquence than I’m capable of. But I’d always planned on at least a small follow-up once New Horizons had completed its amazing encounter. Of course I dawdled, and forgot, and fixated on other things, but then in the last few days some intriguing news has come out from the planetary research community: hints of a possible large body somewhere out in the dark reaches beyond Pluto. Another planet? Maybe. Another really big planet? Maybe.

At this point, the evidence is circumstantial. No one has found an actual planet out there. What has been found are alignments of smaller bodies in the Outer Solar System which suggest the presence of a larger body, perhaps a large planet. There are other possible explanations for this, but recent work has strengthened the argument for a new planet. More work and observation needs to be done, but the possibility is certainly intriguing.

What does this have to do with Pluto’s status as a planet/dwarf planet? Well, as part of our increasing knowledge of the outer Solar System, it’s sure to inform our understanding of what makes a planet and planet vs. a dwarf planet vs. an asteroid vs.—well, you get the picture.

Plus, in this fascinating interview about the possible new planet, planetary science Hal Weaver explains why he views Pluto as a planet—which would make this possible new planet number ten. The current IAU definition of planets vs. dwarf planets (the definition that demoted Pluto) is based heavily on orbital dynamics. Weaver argues that a better definition would be based on geophysical processes. He notes that New Horizons showed us “all kinds of incredible things taking place on Pluto and [its moon] Charon that I think are planetary processes.”

In my original post, I hope I was clear that I don’t consider Pluto’s status permanently settled fact, but rather a provisional expression of our current understanding of our Solar System. I’m less interested in what we call Pluto than what we understand about it, but what we do call it needs to be founded on that understanding. In the couple of years since my original post, so much new knowledge has come to light than an update to our definitions may be in order. Not that I get a say in the matter—what do I know? But experts like Hal Weaver do.

I don’t know what will happen in the planet/dwarf planet debate. Maybe nothing. But what I do know is every day we’re learning something new, and that’s damned exciting.

Revisions are when you get to get to move the darts onto the bullseye while no one is looking.

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