Tuesday, August 27, 2013


There are some days you anticipate more than others: the first date, graduation, weddings, births, visits. And some come happily, but with a shadow attached.

Yet let's allow the good news to stretch its arms wide and own this moment of bliss. A book has been published! Its words now live,ready and anxious to be coddled and stroked and savored by some welcoming reader.

This book:

Today marks the release of Shadows of the New Sun, an anthology that honors Master Storyteller Gene Wolfe. While Wolfe himself has two stories inside the pages, sixteen other authors offer tributes in the form of dancing and marching and even floating through many of the worlds created by Gene in his numerous books.

The authors include Neil Gaiman, David Brin, Nancy Kress, Timothy Zahn, Jack Dann, Joe Haldeman, Michael Swanwick, Jody Lynn Nye, Steven Saville, David Drake, Michael Stackpole, William C. Dietz, Marc Aramini, Aaron Allston, Todd McCaffrey, Micke Resnick and Barry Malzberg, and one Judi Rohrig.


My story, "Tunes from Limbo, But I Digress" began with just the title. It came into my head several years ago, but, despite several attempts, I was never able to toss it out on the mat and tease out the story it deserved.

I didn't know it was waiting in the shadows for this very anthology.

But which Wolfe world?

My favorite Wolfe book, I've found, generally seems to be whatever I'm currently reading. (And no true Wolfe reader ever reads one just once or something might get missed or misunderstood or run and tuck itself in your pocket.) But while I hadn't just finished Home Fires, it was the very story that tugged at my title.

And the shadows moved as they often do when clouds smudge the moonlight through leafy trees.

But science fiction? Science Fiction?

And so the shadows began to spin and weave. A dash of names. Quick, catch them! Threeve.

Three Eve

Threeve: a number between three and five, but not four. But four, yes. Halves and wholes.

And the Man in the Moon, sighed The Raggedy Man,
Sullonesome, you know,
Up there by hisse’f sence creation began!

But I digress . . .

Me with Gene and Rosemary Wolfe

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Brake for Coffee!

I used to be a newspaper columnist, penning something called "Coffee Break." Appearing in the Lifestyle or Family section of the Evansville (IN) Courier (now the Courier & Press), the column covered daily life in our river city. That meant I wrote about my family: husband (a reporter for the same newspaper) and our two daughters who I tagged Teen Sweetie and Bugs. Luckily my husband and I had spaced our pair almost ten years apart which allowed me to cover two age groups in one fell swoop. 

In considering what I should do with my blog these days and stumbling across the stack of old columns and currently dealing with my empty nest, I've decided to share a few of what became "favorites" here. Maybe we'll all learn something from the past together.

(originally published August 28, 1999)

One of the blessings of having children is that they let you relive your own childhood.

I grew up in a family with two girls, and I was the oldest of the two. Maybe that's why I tend to be more understanding about the elder daughter, and why I let her torture her sister. Oh, it's not physical pummelings or anything like that, just . . .

"So what position are playing in soccer?" Teen Sweetie asked her eight-year-old sister, Bugs.


"Yeah. What position?"

"I don't know. We're just practicing so far," Bugs said. "What positions are there?"

"Well, you could be a goalie. Nah, porbably you're too little for that."

Bugs stamped her foot. "I'm not too little!"

"No, I mean you're too short," Teen Sweetie said. "It's just for your team, I figured they'd make you high goalie."

"High goalie? What's that?"

"Well, for kids as little as you are--"

"Grrr . . . "

"-- third or fourth graders, I mean, they have to have two goalies."

"They do?"

"Sure. And you'd be perfect for high goalie."

Bugs smiled proudly.

"But you have to be able to hang up there that long, that's the only thing."

The little one's smile drooped. "What do you mean?"

"Well, the high goalie hangs from the goal post and stops any balls from entering up there."

There was a long moment as Bugs thought about this one. "You mean I'd have to hang upside down?"

Teen Sweetie nodded, but kept an incredibly straight face. It made me proud and scared at the same time.

"But the ball will hit me."

"Well, sure, but you always get hit with balls in soccer."

"But it will hit my face."

"A few bruises . . . That's soccer. I got bruised a lot. Right, Mom?"

Oh, oh.

"Mom," I heard the whiny tone. Yep, Bugs repeated everything her sister had just told her, ending with the familiar and dreaded words: "Is that the truth, Mom?"

"I never played soccer when I was a kid, but your sister did. I guess she knows." I told her, using my very best straight face. (I wonder if the older one ever questions where she gets that look from.)

Bugs played her first soccer game the other night. Her team won 5-1.

She played well, and she didn't even have to hang upside down once. But she surely did stay as far midfield as she could get, and I did see her eye the goalie a couple of times.

Later, the two of them will laugh about this. Just ask my sister.

Just don't ask her about warding off mice by putting peanut butter on your your toes.

(C) 1999 Judi Rohrig

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NaNoWriMo Contest for First Time Authors!

All that work you did last November on your novel as you participated in the annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) head-banger may be about to pay off.

The very talented cover artist (and writer) Ravven has pulled together a group of people willing to give of our time and talent to see your manuscript get published.

Yes, this is a contest.

Yes, this is a contest for those who completed their goal and finished their book: Winners! (Because how would you publish an unfinished book?)

Yes, this is a contest for those headed for ebook publication.

But as writers soon discover, getting to "The End" is merely the beginning. Every work needs and deserves more eyes and ears and thoughts. The best and most experienced writers understand this best. Just as every experienced author understands the impact a truly great cover can have. Covers are what draw readers to your book. Even ebooks.

But this contest merely begins with the promise of a cover by Ravven.

The goodie pack also includes beta readers, and let me assure you, beta readers, even horrible ones, are tough to come by. Sometimes Mom and Dad and Aunt Cecelia would rather not offer their honest opinion even if they are avid readers. And I haven't even gotten to the swag of proofreading and editing.

And formatting!

So here's what the contest offers to the winner:

1. Beta reading
2. Copy editing and proofing
3.A professional cover
4.A Createspace print template
5. Interior formatting
6.Facebook and Twitter graphics
7. Marketing and Public Relations advice
8. A blog tour

Guidelines for submissions, contest specifics, and those who are participating may be found here: NaNoWriMo Contest.