A Liberal and a Conservative walk into a bar….

Just started a new project with my cousin Dennis Murphy. Learn all about it at www.crossingpartylines.net.

Headed to France to walk el Camino

Many people have asked why I want to travel half way around the world to spIMG_0244~2end 40 days walking this ancient pilgrimage route. I’m not really sure, but I believe it has something to do with the fact that my youngest daughter just turned 21, I finished my novel,  and I see the next phase of my life before me. Walking the Camino feels like the right thing to do. The present feels like time to recalibrate my life. Now seems a good time  to stop always looking ahead to the next big milestone,  and  instead savor the bounties that surround me.

Sometimes you need to step back to see the big picture. For me this is especially true. Doing is second nature to me. Holding still a Herculean task. I pray the Camino will be a walking meditation and the 500 miles will be sufficient to teach me to punctuate my life with pauses as much ease and craft as I punctuate my prose with commas, periods, and other elements of style.

20150808_182332~2An Award!  How cool is that?

Recently, I was awarded second place in the Kay Snow competition for middle grade and Young novels. One of the things that makes this so special for me is sharing this honor with friends and fellow writers, like April Henry, Lisa Ard, and Denice Hughes Lewis.

Book Reading in Corvallisanthology

Join us on Monday evening, July 27th from 7 to 9 pm at Grass Roots Music and Books, on 2nd Street in Corvallis. Authors Billie Furuichi, Bobbie Spivey,Lisa Swallow, and Jerrine Minkus Rowley will be on hand to read excerpts from their stories, followed by a Q & A. Books will be available for sale. See you there!


Six Word Stories

A friend of mine, author Lisa Ard, challenged her friends to create six word Halloween stories.  She’s posted many of them on her author page. Here are my two offerings:

  • Awaiting ghosts and ghouls, diet dies.
  • Twenty-seven witches, one Amy.  Amy?…?…?  Amy!

Is everyone named Lisa Swallow writing a book?

Several years ago I learned about Lisa Swallow, author of Green Business Practices for Dummies.  Last year I learned that another Lisa Swallow is working a series of New Adult fantasy romances. Her first novel, Soul Ties, is now available on Amazon.com and elsewhere.  Way to go Lisas!  I wish you all the best of luck.

The question I have is, will having multiple Lisa Swallows make it difficult for fans to connect to the correct one?  I think it may, so for the first time in my life I am considering using a pseudonym, possibly multiple pseudonyms for my multiple book genres.   The front runner is L.S. Aho. Not that it matters yet. Right now I am focused on my teen trilogy, Unwrapped. No one will read them until I finish writing them.

OMG!  I really AM a geek! I am now a Patent Holder!

The abstract: “A system for producing mask layout data retrieves target layout data defining a pattern of features, or portion thereof, and an optimized mask layout pattern that includes a number of printing and non-printing features. Mask layout data for one or more subresolution assist features (SRAFs) is then defined to approximate one or more non-printing features of the optimized mask layout pattern.”

We filed the patent application on Sept. 30, 2005. The full-text of the patent can be found in the US Patent Office database.

In English:The most common technologies for fabricating integrated circuits today rely on photolithography.  Basically, we create an image of the circuit design we want to print (called a mask) , then shine light through the mask to project the design onto a light-sensitive surface. The design on the surface is essentially a shadow-image of the mask.  The problem is, the shadow-image gets distorted when designs are made up of lines that are smaller than the wave-length of light.  In fact, a few decades ago many people believed it was impossible print anything smaller than 380 nanometers (the wavelength of visible light.)

But wait!  Circuits today have features smaller than 65 nanometers. How can that be?In the field of lithography, scientists have discovered several ways to get us past this limitation.  For example:·

  • Use types of light that have smaller wavelengths. Visible light has a wavelength of 380 nanometers, but deep ultraviolet light produced by lasers can have wavelengths of 248 or 193 nanometers.
  • Create semi-transparent areas on the mask that will shift the phase of some of the light waves so the shifted and non-shifted light waves interfere with one another in just the right way to produce the image we want.
  • Change the design on the mask to account for the distortion.  By predicting how light distorts an image, we can create a mask that is pre-distorted.  The image produced using the pre-distorted mask gives us the desired image.
  •  Add extra lines to the mask that don’t print, but because of their presence, reduce the distortion of the design.  These are called Sub Resolution Assist Features.   This is where our patent comes in.

Our patent covers a process for figuring out the optimal sizes, shapes, and locations for sub resolution assist features.

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