The Blog

Whee, it’s time for my first con of 2019: CapriCon 39

Thursday Feb 14 through Sunday Feb 17.

Want my panel schedule for some reason? Here ’tis! When I’m not on panels, I’ll be wandering aimlessly, attending other panels, or hanging out in the vendor room where the fabulous Alice Liddell & Brendan Detzner are letting me sit at their cool table. (thank you!) yes, I will have Excellent Buyable Things. Scroll on down for details.

Thursday, February 14

5PM Botanic B: Superhero or Monster

Friday, February 15

11:30AM Birch A: Razorblades on the Tongue: The Art of Violence

1PM Botanic A: Does Physics Work in Fantasy?

4PM Botanic B: Writing While Life Rolls Over You

Saturday, February 16

11:30AM Willow A: Themed Reading: Urban Fantasy

4PM Birch A: Designing a Disease

Want to say hello but can’t find me? I will have Facebook, Messenger & Twitter direct messages enabled for the weekend! Drop me a note.

At the reading,  I’ll debut the first scene from the Rough Passages sequel (the one I HAVE to get off to the copy editor in 6 weeks so I can get it formatted & printed by July…yeah.)

Anyway, if you are dying for a sneak peek at Sharp Edge of Yesterday, this will be your first chance.

If you want to throw money at me, I’ll have Mercury Battalion patches, paperback copies of Rough Passages & all the Stories of the Restoration for sale, plus stickers, booksmarks & draft pages of the cool character trading cards.

And now I have to get back to ripping out scenes and working in new material.

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.

It’s nippy out there.

The air temp was up to a balmy -15 °F when I took my walk today. That’s before wind chill. The wind chill has been at “OH HELL NO” since last night. -15 marked the high point between -24 last night, and -23 projected for tonight. -50 wind chill anyone?

Yes, I went outside in that kind of cold. Yes, on purpose. Yes, without a job location I had to travel to reach, or a pet who needs walking, or any other external justification.

Why? Why not? Being able to do things like stroll around in the killing cold by choice remind me how lucky and rich I am, relatively speaking, and how grateful I am for so much in my life.

Also, if I don’t get my body moving and keep moving at a steady pace for at least 30 min a day, I hurt, but I could do enough walking indoors to cope. Not easily, and going around and around inside the house is boring as hell, but hey. I have done it.

But given the choice between boring laps and going out into the deep freeze? No contest.

It was a fantastic hike and meditative too. I spent the time focusing on my breathing rhythm, maintaining awareness of my body’s position, location, and surroundings (the whole world changes in incredible, beautiful ways when it’s super-cold)

..at least, that’s what I was doing when I wasn’t concentrating on ways to keep my glasses from frosting over.

I’d been out about a half-mile when I realized why I was enjoying myself so much. Dealing with weather like this is a lot like swimming. You’re deliberately exposing your body to a medium that will kill you if you’re immersed in it too long, but with the right gear, training, and effort, the experience can bring you a satisfying thrill.

When it comes to gear, I have tons. Decades worth. I ruthlessly toss or donate clothes that wear out/don’t get worn, but cold weather kit keeps well. And scarves? Well. Textiles are my dragon hoard.

My winter coat is literally designed for Antarctica– it came from someone who went on a cruise trip with a company that uses old Russian icebreakers. It has a patch on it and everything.

My closet is packed with thick, plushy hoodies & warm socks and so on. I am spoiled for choice.  I not only have sleek, soft long underwear comfort-rated to sub-zero, I have fleecy versions I can layer over it and under my outerwear.

Hats? Ear protection? insulated gloves with mitten covers? Scarves and ear bands to keep everything but the eyes safe from wind chill? YUP.

And boots with thick soles to keep my toesies in a dry, temperature-controlled environment are my year-round standard.

Basically, I was all set for today.  Note, please, none of my stuff is new. A purple wool scarf my friend Jody found for me and the sparkly red scarf gifted to me by my other friend Tess are the  youngest pieces in the ensemble. Some of the long underwear is old enough to drive, and I think the coat is old enough to vote.

But it’s all good gear, so when I wrap up to go out in the killing cold, I am covered top to toe in cuddlesome coziness and feel super-rich and thankful for every protective piece.

I’ve had training too. Nothing rigorous, just enough to make me comfortable navigating a populated neighborhood.  There were many lessons in cold weather survival in my youth, plus I’ve done a lot of independent study since then. (hello, I’m a writer)  Knowing when to stop is a key skill, and listening to my body saying “enough!” is a thing I have learned well.

Once I find some goggles (frosty eyeglasses are a real PITA) I will be able to easily handle hikes on days far colder than this one. Goggles have been on a vague quest list for years now. Since Polar Vortexes are likely to be a recurring issue, I think I will make a point of hunting some down before next winter.

Because it really was a lovely walk today, and I want to do more.

By the way, if anyone is wondering, no,  I wasn’t the only one out there. I wasn’t even the only person out here without a dog on a leash. I spotted one hardy soul out running, and no one was even chasing them.

Was there a point to this post? I don’t know. But we’ve reached the end of it.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.