Getting comfortable in my writer skin

No writers were harmed in the creation of this skin, I swear.  The comfort comes from taking two big steps towards acknowledging that this writing gig is a Real, Permanent Thing.

1. I got Dawnrigger license plates.

Yes, personalized ones. Don’t hate. There’s a story. Of course there is.

A couple of years back, the state decided that it would be rolling out a new license plate style, and that when my turn came, instead of getting a sticker for registration renewal, my old plate would be replaced for free. Huzzah, I said, because the plates I was issued Way Back When had a letter/number combo I always hated.  I never replaced them because  the fee for title transfer was low compared to the exorbitant fee for getting new plates with a new car. The Awful Old Plates went through…four title transfers, I think? Yes, I am a cheapskate.

This year, it was my turn to get free new ones! The form arrived with the link for renewing title registration online, so up to the website I went, all excited about finally being rid of my Awful Old Plates.

Whereupon the state informed me that once I completed the registration renewal they were going to send me THE SAME AWFUL LETTER/NUMBER COMBO on entirely new plates. WTF, said I, with extra exclamation points. No. Nope. Unacceptable. HELL NO, even. Cussing out the computer screen may have been involved.

Then I spotted my salvation in a sidebar on the left. An option for personalizing plates. An extra fee in addition to the renewal, but not as much as new registration.IMG_4142

So I did it. What the hell. No, they are not vanity plates. (Seriously. They aren’t. Vanity Plate was a whole ‘nother  choice on the site. Who knew license plates came in so many different flavors? I didn’t.)

Now my little car has plates that read DAWNRGR. See? Maybe no one but me will ever know what that means. But I do know, and it makes me happy.

2. The other authoring-related thing I did makes me even happier, and was much easier; I listed myself as “author at Dawnrigger Publishing” in an official directory for the first time.

It wasn’t a government form or anything.  It’s just a member directory for a organization at my college.  I’m still working as Registration Staff part-time at the Mount Prospect library and as a volunteer at the Botanic Garden. Putting the word ‘author’ in the
Primary Employment” slot on this form changes nothing at all officially, but…

I felt comfortable doing it. That changes everything.

I’m getting there. Slow & unsteady, but I’m getting there.

Chugging along towards Dragon Con 2017

DRAGON CON! Atlanta. Labor Day weekend.

I’ll be there. SO EXCITING. Shoutycaps exciting, even. Two weeks away.

Also intimidating. Crowds make me frantic unless I’m standing in front of them. Put me on a stage or in front of a microphone with a purpose, and I’m a happy clam, but leave me in the middle of a big party, and it’s cat-in-the-bathtub time. Cons are multiple-day parties. So…I’ll keep myself busy.

The important things:

  • I’ll be splitting my time between the Armory (down-down-downstairs in the Hyatt, as close to a quiet zone as an event with 60k people can have) & the Bard’s Tower booth in the vendor building.
  • Yes, I will have books to sell @ Bard’s Tower. Come and buy some. They’re grrrrr-EAT!
  • I’m on a panel Saturday — details once the official schedule goes live.
  •  I will have autographing time (STOP LAUGHING) scheduled on Sunday. I’ll read to anyone who shows up to that.

Why did I do that last one? I DON’T KNOW. It seemed like a good idea at the time? “Why the hell not?” probably climbed into the engineer’s seat on that train of thought. Or something.

Spouseman will not be accompanying me.  Health & endurance are steadily improving But a week away from home+hates airline travel+HATES huge crowds?  He is not up for that much of a challenge. Yet. Maybe next year. And maybe a smaller venue first, to ease back into the swing of con-going. Maybe.

*deep breath* List time again. Lists are soothing.

  • Biz cards are ready.
  • Bookmarks & postcards ready.
  • Flight is booked. Got a decent deal, even. Woo!
  • Hotel room set…I think. Should check on that, maybe. One way or another I’ll have a crash space.
  • packing list in progress.
  • Hair cut accomplished. Hair coloring is holding up.

Brain is revving up near redline and the con is still two weeks away.

Argh. I can do this. I want to do this, I will do this.

If you are coming to Dragon Con and reading this, I hope to see you there!


Not tired of my words yet? My published works are available on Amazon and all the other usual online retailers.

Science-fiction thrillers, science-fiction romance, and science fantasy, full length novels and shorter works. So many choices! 

Indiana ComicCon 2017 Adventure (day 1)

I came to Indy on Easter weekend this year to scout out a convention and see if it was a good fit for me both professionally and personally.

note: I am at the Wordfire Press(Guest Authors) booth near the photo ops area all weekend.  You can get signed books from me while they last. Yes, my books. And other people’s books. Claudia Gray is here. Dan Wells. Josh Vogt. Ozgur Sahin, Neo Edmund, and Kevin J Anderson. So much author goodness. Come check it all out.

My conclusion: Indiana Comic Con suits me like a comfy favorite shirt. I really like it. Not too big, not too small. Juuuuuust right. Yes, I am resorting to a Goldilocks metaphor.

See, some cons are so large they overwhelm me in masses of people, and most have a faceless, heartless, “profit-generator” feel.  There are many things I love about huge events, but they can be a major emotional struggle for me. Other cons are so small I feel exposed and self-conscious everywhere I go, and some of them suffer from disorganization and/or lack of communication that generates stressful drama for attendees and vendors alike.

Here? There’s a relaxed, personal, fan-enthusiasm feel to the crowds, the crowds are managable and move well, AND there’s more. Good way-finding, helpful staff on hand, a nice variety of panels and events for the number of attendees, and tons of of great artists, authors and dealers in the exhibitor’s area.

(Hey, I’m in the exhibitor’s area. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Worthy of an interrobang, that’s how cool.) Anyway. I think this con hits the sweet spot, and I am enjoying it.

My goal now is to sell out of books. It’s a stretch, but goals are good, right? I sold more than I expected today, and this was only Friday, right?

Although I forgot to take a picture today, my books are right there on the table between Kevin J. Anderson’s Star Wards Legends series and the new Terry Goodkind novel. That’s kind of a fairy tale place to end this, I think, don’t you?

Until next post, have a couple more random con snapshots. More to come…