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Authoring Cons & Appearances Writing Life

There’s more to my life than the new house: there’s also Dragon Con!

This weekend I’m pausing all the moving-in work so I can go to Atlanta for Dragon Con. (Why did I buy  house right between my year’s two biggest conventions? That’s just how I roll, what can I say?)

Will you be at Dragon Con? Want to meet up? That would be awesome. Easiest way to find me: stop by one of the panels I’ll be on. Here’s a handy list.

FRIDAY:

 Gimme a Break
Time: 8:30 pm Location: Embassy CD – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Best advice for breaking into fantasy & SF novel writing.
Panelists: Venessa Guinta(M), Scott Sigler, Tamsin L. Silver, Esther Friesner, J. Gregory Keyes, K. M. Herkes, John D. Ringo
(I am seriously the Minority Report in this group. But it should be great.) 

SATURDAY:

A Sense of Place: The Role of Setting in UF
Time: 11:30 am Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Often the location where the action takes place can be an integral aspect of the story. Our panel of authors will discuss the role setting plays in their work & how it affects the stories they tell.
Panelists: J.F. Lewis, Linda Robertson, E.J. Stevens, K. M. Herkes, Jennifer Morris(M), Melissa F Olson
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked, “Why Elgin, Illinois?” I’d have…some dollars. I’

The Isms: Looking at Classic Fantasy from the Viewpoint of Today
Time: 10:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Social consciousness changes, but books are forever. Something that was once progressive today may seem anything but. Are these works simply products of their time or true reflections of the person? Let’s not toss the dragonet out with the Hatching Sand and shells. *Trigger Warning*
Panelists: Ray Johnson (M), K. M. Herkes, Mike Massa, Dr. Charles E. Gannon
This…could be A-MAY-ZING. I’ve recently done some re-reading and re-watching of my classic faves, and wow…yeah. I am very much a fan of VERY problematic things. And that’s okay. Even good. Lots to discuss.

SUNDAY

Off the Record: Life beyond the Shelf – A Look at Publishing from the Other Side
Time: 5:30 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: What is the best way to approach a bookstore/library/track? What are these other people looking at and how best should you show that you are their answer? Time for an inside look at publishing from the other side of mirror. No recording, as this is Off the Record and Behind the Curtain.
Panelists: Tyra A Burton, Kathleen, Diane Aurand, Cisca Small(M), K. M. Herkes
Oooo, yeah, I have STORIES, from the bookselling years.

MONDAY

All the Subs
Time: 1:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Fantasy is filled with all kinds of stories, but sometimes a trend pops up that turns into a sub-genre. Supervise? Gamelit? LitRPG? Cozy? Noir? There are so many, & a few that don’t really fit in any…yet.
Panelists: L. Jagi Lamplighter, James A. Hunter, Aaron Crash, G. Scott Huggins, Cat Rambo(M), K. M. Herkes
Meep. I’m on a panel with Cat Rambo? MEEP. So exciting. Daunting, but exciting.
This panel topic is near and dear to my “organize-all-the-things” heart. I’m going to take deep breaths, sit up straight, and enjoy the heck out of it.’

I’m going to come home from this con with a TON of new reading material, I just know it.

Between panels, I’ll be hanging at The Bard’s Tower in the Vendor zone. With my books, yes. Want to buy a book or a patch or some pins? I can make that happen. Have I mentioned that I write books? Techno-thrillers, superpower fantasy. And science-fiction-knitting-romances. (And cozy ghost mystery paranormals, but you can’t buy those yet.)

ANYway. I’ll try to stay engaged online while away, but no promises. It’s a busy, BUSY con. I don’t have FB messenger, but texts or Twitter DMs will find me. I’ll also be going to panels & other events, because that’s part of the fun, and the con goes on all day & night for 4 days, after all. The Palmetto Knights are on my must-see list, for sure, and multiple visits to Artist’s Alley, of course.

All righty. That covers the con. Time to color my hair, unearth the suitcase, and pack the con clothes.

And after Dragon Con? Well. Expect this blog to go quiet. If I have time to sit down with words between Labor Day and Halloween, there’s a book to finish revising and another to finish drafting, and the urge to bury myself in manuscripts is getting stronger by the day. So. That’s how it goes.

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Authoring Cons & Appearances Promotion

Gen Con 2019 post #2

So many good things happened today. I want to write about all of them, but I am bleary-eyed tired & sleepy & full of good food from Bazbeaux Pizza and cannot possibly process it all.

I am also full of contentment after the long, busy Gen Con Saturday experience, what with all the meeting & chatting & connecting & sharing. And new ideas are firing up, sparked by great conversations with new friends.

Thanks to all who stopped by my table to chat, from Greg, who let me show him all my “baby house’ pictures, to Very Vocal Viking Troy who swung by for a return visit (!) and brought his wonderful friend Chandra, who bought the big book bundle and let me give her the free pins that went with it. And special glittery internet hugs for Shell who wanted me to know exactly how much she loves my characters.

Cheers to Patricia the artist with gorgeous line drawings (whose card I still need to grab) for letting me moon over all her beautiful art, all hail my many, wonderful aisle-mates on Authors Avenue for making me feel welcome, and big gratitude to all the passers-by who let me babble excitedly at them about my wonderful fictional worlds.

AND HAVE I MENTIONED SHANNON EICHORN? My table mate, my rock of stability, my holder of ipads and issuer of gentle reminders to hydrate?

Yeah. This con would not have been a success without her staunch support. Just saying.

ANYway. I could go on and on, but there’s still Sunday to go, and it’s late, and I have ideas to ponder & dream on before tomorrow arrives.

Until later.

Categories
Authoring Cons & Appearances Promotion

Gen Con 2019 blog post #1

Preliminary verdict on how I feel about Authors Avenue: I’m loving it (The picture on this post isn’t Authors Ave, I just love the image of gamers taking over the stadium floor.)

ANYway. I digress of course.

I’m having an absolute blast at Gen Con. Wonderful, welcoming table neighbors, visits from friends & friends of friends, and even a reader who bought Rough Passages at a con earlier this year. They wanted me to know how much they enjoyed it.

Yes, I did a total happy dance.

Special shout outs to Maria Turner & Hans Cummings, who have been steadfastly supportive & patient with my noob questions since long before I got my table this year, and to Matt Press, whose luggage & displays got lost by the airlines for the first day & 1/2, but who still put together a great display & who has a free book on Kindle just for this weekend.

So. Anyway. I’ve passed out loads of “Love Is Positive” stickers & ribbons, gotten to talk about the Restoration world and the incredible characters in Rough Passages, and a lot of people signed up to get my free email story.

All that AND I’ve sent books off to new homes too!

So. Yeah. It’s all the happy.

I’ve been recharging by hibernating in the room for a long while after the dealer’s area closes, then walking out to get some food before crashing. My throat is sore from talking over crowd noise, but so far, still feeling healthy.

Time to rest up & brace for the Saturday crowds!

Big thanks to everyone who stopped by and hello to all the new readers! (And a few extra exclamation points, just to make sure I use them up!!!!)

Until later, all.

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Authoring Cons & Appearances Detours Writing Life

C2E2 2019: the final chapter

I know I said I probably wouldn’t write a day 3 post, but…my final art purchase from the con — a commission from Ashley A. Woods — is so gorgeous I had to make time to write about it and the rest of the day.

This is a picture I never thought I would get. I had an impossible time reducing Ruth from “Roundup” in Rough Passages to a proper artist’s reference full of physical details. She’s o full of anger, love and patience…but what did she look like? Errrm. I never felt the recitation of dry facts (gray hair, older woman’s body and skin…) did her justice.

I knew I liked this artist’s work — check out Niobe: She Is Life from Stranger Comics, or Millenia Wars if you can find it — and knew she did an incredible job capturing personality in lines. So. I happened past her table and was looking at prints, and when I saw she was sketching, I gathered up ALL MY NERVES and asked if she did commissions.

Yes? YES?! W00T! I babbled various bits of description, she jotted notes, and this is the result. Ruth at the end of the story after her powers roll in, surveying her new land.

Oh. Yass.

Wow, right? RIGHT!

I got to watch the the last bit of marker work, and it was astonishing. It’s a craft I know takes hours & hours of practice, concentration, and effort, and it’s all the more amazing to watch because of that.

Other notes from Sunday? I picked up tea for myself and a friend, grabbed a print of Stitch wearing the Hogwarts Sorting hat and being sorted into Hufflepuff (Yes, he is so right for it, FIGHT ME) and generally enjoyed walking the aisles and seeing the things I missed because Saturday was so danged busy.

Next year, looking at the likelihood I still won’t be working a booth,  I might devote all of Saturday to attending panels  & not even go onto the vendor’s floor. There are so MANY folks who only come for that one day that even the super-wide aisles get crushingly crowded.

Crowds are not my thing. So. Very Much. NOT.

Happy note, though: I did not ever lose my con buddies. I remembered to memorize their clothes once we got to the con floor, and they made sure to wave to me when I got out of range (at 2-3 feet distance, I rely more on clothes/motion than faces)   So, yay, no panicky moments at all for once.

Rainy Sunday meant by the time we left the show we were all tremendously tired, footsore and achy. Came home, got all the stuff unpacked before exhaustion crashed in, and thanked past-me for making sure the house was in order because I was in no emotional state to deal with disorder.

Then came the dilemma of dinner. Neither I nor Spouseman could face cooking or even the work of deciding from a menu and speaking to a delivery person, but all ended well. Leftovers to the rescue. Dove into the freezer and pulled out hearty soup, applesauce, & bread for toast.

Lots of work to do in the weeks ahead: scan in art, do lots of writing, buy some food, start the next round of leftovers creation, laundry (AAAGGHHHH SO MUCH LAUNDRY) a couple of house projects, more authoring responsibilities, and a long, long list of other Usual Life Things, but…

This is all the all there is for now. Ta!

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Authoring Cons & Appearances Detours Writing Life

C2E2 getaway 2019: more random remarks

Thoughts in no particular order…

Today was Spouseman’s day for buying things. He bought me dice for my birthday. (The probability that I will forget their existence between now  & then approaches unity. Pretend you’re surprised when I exclaim happily about them later this year. ) Some lovely prints were purchased, too.  Our current art themes are “Fubsy-animals, fine art style,” Wonder Woman, and Le Chat Noir. (Toothless counts towards two themes.)

Anyway. Because we are not made of money and can’t possibly frame them all, we keep our print collection in a portfolio & pull it out to admire it now & then.  Gonna be a lot of page reorganizing this year.

Enamel pins are apparently The Hot New Thing. I bought too many, and got vendor recommendations, Hopefully one of them talk me through my “overwhelmed by choices and information” phase into actually ordering Poz pins. And another artist gave me the name of a reputable printer (in Columbus OH, of all places) who may be able to do packs of Rough Passages Character Cards.

I AM SORRY, FRIENDLY HELPFUL WONDERFUL ARTISTS, I DO NOT RECALL WHICH OF YOU GAVE ME WHICH GOOD RECOMMENDATIONS. But I did write down the names you gave me. So, thank you all again.

I went to a panel moderated by my friend Jody on magic & mayhem in fantasy, but with six other great authors on the panel (full panel list: Alison Wilgus, Cory Doctorow, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mirah Bolender, S.A. Chakraborty, & Sue Burke, moderator: Jody Lynn Nye) and only an hour to talk it was really “Magic in Fantasy.”

Which was fine. The hour flew by. The discussion of different presentations of magic in fiction was fruitful, funny, and practical, and some fine points were made. Words like numinous and epistemological, and irreproducible got bandied about.

Side note: turns out I’m NOT the only person who thinks for magic to be magic and not simply science with different foundation principles,  it has to operate without hard rules. Many an online discussion had me wondering if I was a unique curmudgeon for believing this, but no. Cory Doctorow mentioned points I’ve raised time and again. (Yay, bias affirmed!) Did everyone on the panel agree? Far from it, but it made a good debate.

One sad point: as the panel ended I got sidetracked into a books conversation with another audience member and one thing led to another until tired friends needed to leave and took me away to early supper at Greek Isles. So, I missed the autographing after the panel &  didn’t get to meet back up with Jody.  (It was a great convo, tho. I got to recommend Susan Cooper and Robin McKinley, and that makes my bookseller’s heart all warm.)

Despite a gajillion schedule mismatches and mishaps, I did get to give my friend Jen a hug in passing & will see her tomorrow. And I got to see my con friend Toby, who I didn’t know was AT C2E2. So. There’s those two good things too.

Spouseman & I wandered back to the con after supper, arriving after the cosplay contest ended and a Very Loud Party began. People appeared to be having a fab time. But did I mention LOUD? Spouseman got some pics of costumes. I had my fingers in my ears. But I’m glad we went to see it, because I got to chat more with Laura from the ‘brar.

Here are two original arts I’ve gotten back:

Mike Manomivibul’s awesome take on Serena from Flight Plan

Isabella Rotman’s interpretation of my beloved Grawlix. <3

And this isn’t original art, but it’s something an artist is doing that I want to get later.

And I am quote sure this Tarot with Isabella’s illustrations will be EPIC.  Just sayin’

Other randoms: the elevators at our hotel have lush contralto voices (at least two different ones, I’m pretty sure) and they get very excited about announcing floors and directions. “Twenty-first <voice drops to a sultry growl> floor,” they will say, followed by “Going…down.”

bonus: view from the elevator lobby on our floor.

One last pic: the delicious decaf tea that I got after supper.

because it’s tasty, that’s why.

Are y’all still reading? Good heavens.  Wow. Good for you. Kudos.

I could type more babble, or I could read a little and then go to sleep. I vote for option two. More tomorrow? Probably not. Tomorrow will about getting art, swing past a few vendors, a panel, and then getting everything home. Not expecting anything new.

And after we’re home, I have book revisions to finish and a cover blurb to write. Rumor has it a few people might want to buy this novel once I get it into print. So. Less blogging, more booking.

Until later, all!