Categories
Cons & Appearances Writing Life

Windycon 2022 is a go for launch

It wasn’t clear until quite recently how many days I would be attending Windycon this year, if I could go at all.

But! The stars aligned, my schedule cleared itself, and I’ll be in Lombard this coming weekend November 11-13.

This will be the first con in 8 years that I’ve attended without a vendor table to hide behind. That’s shaking things up a bit, my nerves most of all, because the last time was very much Not Fun.

It’s a growth thing. I’ll be fine now that I know more about how cons work. Right? RIGHT.

The plan is to be on some fun panels, attend other fun panels, hang out with friends, look at the art show, and perhaps do some gaming. Laid-back, relaxed, good times. I hope.

Here’s the places I’m committed to being:

Making the Most of the Public Library Friday 18:00 Lilac BD

Your local public library can certainly arrange for you to check out books, music, or films, but it offers so much more, from e-resources to cultural events to maker spaces. Our panel of librarians won’t be shushed when it comes to announcing the ways you can take advantage of the services on offer at your local branch.

Pets in Space 21:00 Friday Lilac AC

Can you really have a pet on a spaceship? Can it be an ordinary earth pet, like a dog, cat, bird or must it be something adapted to space (and what would that be)? What purpose would pets serve in space?

Writers Workshop Saturday 9AM to 1 PM

Ludlow Charlington Charity Anthology Reading Saturday 15:00 Boardroom

Authors read from their work from the Ludlow Charlington anthology published to raise funds for Chicago Shelters.

How to Build a Science Sunday 10:00 Lilac BD

How to introduce the historical development of various sciences in your work? How were sciences actually developed in different areas of the world?

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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!