Upcoming conventions & suchlike

I am excited, daunted (okay, terrified) and exhausted in advance looking at this calendar. Doing even one of these was beyond my imagining a few years ago.  I am beyond grateful to all the people who have supported me and given me opportunities.

<deep breath> Here we go…

February 14-17  Capricon 39, Wheeling IL.

Panels about heroes, fantasy physics, the art of violence, and more. I have a reading scheduled, and will have books for purchase in the vendor room.

March 1-3 Cleveland ConCoction, Aurora OH

In Author’s Alley with books, participating on fun panels, doing readings & more.  Hoping to have my badges for sale by then along with the books.

March 22-24  C2E2, Chicago, IL

I’ll be working at the Bard’s Tower pop-up bookstore in the Exhibit Hall.

June 7-9 Indy PopCon, Indianapolis, IN.

Planning to be at Bard’s Tower here, too. This is a new con for me, so…EEP.

August 1-4  Gen Con Indianapolis, IN

I’LL HAVE MY OWN TABLE ON AUTHORS’ AVENUE THIS YEAR. Yes, that news is worthy of shoutycaps. I dance a little Pinocchio dance and sing silly songs about happiness every time I think about this.

Gen Con is now where I’m hoping to debut Sharp Edge of Yesterday, because why not throw my big party at a big con I can reach by driving?

August 29-Sept 4, Labor Day Weekend DragonCon, Atlanta GA.

With Bard’s Tower and beyond! Too soon to know about programming here, but I have emails out to the organizers and fingers crossed.

Two wonderful cons that aren’t on this list: WisCon & Windycon. Here’s why, sorta.

WisCon. I loved it the one time I went, but going back as an author…scares me. I don’t think Im up to the emotional exposure. My voice would never add enough to panels to justify silencing anyone else by taking the spot, and vending? My books are fabulous, but I can easily see no one at WisCon having the slightest interest, and that would just crush me.

All that plus I’m wary of overtaxing brain and pocketbook with the other obligations I’ve made makes it a Bad Idea to take on another con.

But…butbutbutbutbut… But I want to go again so much. Maybe just as an attendee for a day trip? Maybe offering to volunteer? I dunno. I just…at this rate I’ll waffle right up until Memorial Day weekend.

I’m on the fence about  WindyCon this year too. I sense I may be burned out on life by November…but….I know people there now and it’s a fun time, and I love to hang out with Rich and Rich & the Games Plus booth. November is a long way off. I can put off this decision too.  Maybe a very low-key presence, zero money invested and a couple of panels at most?

ANYway. Now you know where I’ll be for quite a few weekends this year, in case you ever want to meet me and talk about writing, or Marvel movies, or fantasy sub-genres, or Night Vale, or discuss what a jerk Carl can be or what Elena’s political ambitions are…

And no need to worry who’ll feed Scooter & take pictures of him while I’m away. Spouseman holds down the fort and keeps the home fires burning. It’s nice to come home to fresh fruit & milk in the fridge, I do confess.

That’s all until later.

The latest in random happenings

I filled out forms today.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that nothing in modern life can happen without filling out all the proper forms before, during and after EVERYTHING one does.

…or so it often seems to me. Forms hate me. True story.

If you’ve never seen me fuck up a form five times running before getting it right, well, now you know that’s a thing. And I did a ton of everyday form-filling today without a single meltdown.

So, yay?

Confirming con dates, ordering freebies, depositing checks, booking hotels & travel, submitting information here & there, updating spreadsheets…

AGH. SO MANY FORMS TO FILL OUT. ARGH.

But it’s all done, and I’ve survived.

I also made progress & significant decisions on the new beginning for Sharp Edge of Yesterday. It still has a sucky first line, but I am now resigned to “sucky first lines” being my trademark style…and it starts with Jack & Heather snarking on their way to an emergency, so there’s that.

Rewarding myself with popcorn & hot cider now. (see the featured image for the post.)

See ya later, internet.

2018: listing things for fun & focus

I adore lists. They aren’t useful to me in any organizational way. They don’t make me work more efficiently or help my productivity. The opposite, if anything.  I’m always leaving lists behind, or forgetting where I’ve put them, or getting distracted before finishing one and starting a new one instead…the list itself is rarely a helpful tool.

But making lists? That’s a fish of another color. I consider making a list its own reward. I love writing them.  If you think this odd, well, I also consider scrolling through the cable channel menu its own distinct activity rather than a way to find shows to watch.

I put things on list for the sheer joy of checking them off again. True story. Hey, I never said I was normal.

ANYWAY. Still here? Fab. It’s the beginning of the new year and everyone was doing lists at the end of the old year, but I was hibernating, so I’m late with mine.

Here be my list of 2018 accomplishments. I made them all on my own. They’re little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good. (Apologies to Lilo & Stitch for the misquote.)

1. Wrote a book. The Sharp Edge of Yesterday isn’t published yet, but I finished it & it’s finally in post-editorial revisions. (It even kinda has a pitch: Grace Reed is hiding a terrible secret and a more terrible power. that will rip her away from the family she’s sacrificed everything to keep together. )

2. Wrote most of another book. Ghost Town isn’t finished, but it’s well over 50%, and that’s something. All I’ve got for  pitch is the tongue in cheek, “She’s the new sheriff. He’s been dead a hundred years. Together, they fight crime and bicker.”

3. Attended a few too many science fiction conventions as a professional. Pro meaning I had books there to sell, wore a pro badge, and/or participated on panels and such. Woo, this means I get to make a sub-list!

  • Capricon (MY FIRST CAPRICON!)
  • Concoction (MY FIRST CONCOCTION!!)
  • C2E2 (sorta. All I did was chat w/artists & commission art. )
  • Indiana Comic Con
  • 2018 SFWA Nebula Awards Conference
  • Gen Con
  • Michigan Comic Con
  • Dragon Con
  • WindyCon

4. Wrote 2 short stories. Yes, me. Me, the person whose previous four short stories turned into novels. One of these two, Homecoming,  is a slice-of-life piece about a character who’s in Sharp Edge, and it’s a freebie for people who sign up for my mailing list. The other, Mercy Has a Bitter Taste,  I’ve had critiqued & polished & am sending off to be rejected by all the best professional markets. One down,  thirteen more to go before I trunk it.

5. Started regularly attending an incredibly supportive open mic reading group in Chicago.  Gumbo Fiction Salon. I’ve read all of Bitter Gift there, and the reception is what gave me the confidence to start sending it out.

NOTE: GBS isn’t the reading series I first expected to support. There’s another series, held at Volumes Book Cafe, that I attended once and & HIGHLY recommend. I’m v sad about never returning to it, but scheduling conflicts, life detours, and a VERY difficult location have all conspired against me getting back there. (And now I’m too embarrassed to show my face again. Sigh.)

6? I think that’s it for major writerly type achievements from 2018. I mean, yes, I commissioned new covers for books from the fantastic Rhiannon Taylor and the amazing Rachel Bostwick, I signed a contract for line edits from a phenomenal professional editor, I signed up for 2019 conventions, I ran multiple book promotions online, I got my latest novel into the WorldCat library database and on shelves in library systems in Illinois, Ohio, & Kentucky, and maybe Pennsylvania…

…but all that’s just everyday authoring stuff.

So much for 2018. Onward to 2019. Big plans in the making & big doings ahead.