Come to Pittsburgh, it’ll Be FUN!

TL;DR summary: I’m going to Pittsburgh this week! Lots of amazing authors will be in Pittsburgh! You can meet them for free & get autographs!

Why Pittsburgh? So glad you asked. It’s the Nebula Awards Conference Weekend, a traveling event held annually by The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (aka SFWA)

There will be loads of professional development panels for authors and the big Nebula Awards Ceremony, but the reason I’m sharing  is that the event also has a super cool tradition called the Mass Autographing.

Open to the public. Here be all the official bits: https://nebulas.sfwa.org/autographing-event-sunday-may-20/

Basically if you’re within a distance of Pittsburgh where you can be at the Pittsburgh City Cetner Marriott Sunday May 20, 1-3, and you’re interested in excellent science fiction & fantasy books, you really should come to this event!

You can meet loads of authors–Nebula Award nominated, and Nebula Award WINNING authors–they’ll be there, and they’ll all have books available for purchase too.

Also there will be me. With my books. Not nominated books, and I’m not a SFWA member (not yet! SOMEDAY!) but I will be at the conference absorbing knowledge and maybe helping out if I can.

And so I will also have my excellent books for sale at the event Book Depot. In case anyone wants them.

What about next year? Will I go to the SFWA conference then? Maybe.  Depends on where it’s held, and even more it depends on whether I make enough sales to become a member. I’m not sure how long I can justify attending when I’m still not making enough sales to qualify as a member. Maybe forever? Maybe not. I get more self-conscious and nervous about it every year.

But that’s next year, and I’m not sure what next year will bring.  For sure it will be an adventure.

This year? PITTSBURGH, HERE I COME!

How’s it going? Let me tell you.

In case anyone wonders how well the professional side of this writing dealio is going for me, the answer is: not all that well. Also super-great. It’s a contradictory kind of gig.

I’ve sold more paperbacks this year than ever. Yay, right? Well, yes and no. Enough to cover the costs of travel, that’s the real q, and the a is: LOL NO.  And the real kick in the teeth? I’ve seen no sales bumps online after conventions this year. In fact not a single ebook has sold in the last 30 days. And only 1 in the 30 days before that.

Le sigh.

I am not discouraged about writing. Far from it. It’s been an abysmally rough 3 years, life-wise, but I believe in the quality of the stories I have published, I’m excited about every project I have in the works, and I have a lot going on.

  • A novel completed & headed for line edits w/cover art commissioned.
  • A backstory novelette in the same series coming together nicely.
  • A new novel in  new series outlined (Yes! I made an outline. Me! I’ve already deviated from it, but I MADE IT.) The writing of it is coming along & developing beautifully.
  • I even have a totally independent new short story brewing! A THING I COULD SUBMIT TO MAGAZINES! HOW COOL IS THAT?!  (Worthy of an interrobang, that’s how cool.)
  • plans made for attending more conventions  where I can meet people, sell books & hopefully participate on panels. Because I do love panels.

But as for my belief that there’s a wider audience for my stories, beyond than the few people I’ve already reached?  Yeah, that might be nearing rock-bottom.

I am happy to have the readers I do have. Thrilled, even. I never expected anyone else to find my quirky tales worthwhile. That I have touched people with my words, made readers think and ponder and feel? That’s amazing and humbling will never get old.

But…
Still.
Zero new ebook readers?
Le sigh.

The Usual Report: Post-equinox edition

The cute puppy has nothing to do with this post. I added him because I haven’t done an update in a while & thought readers deserved a bit of bonus cute.

BOOKS:

Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story. Anyone who reads this blog more than a few times knows I consider most writing advice a stinking pile of bullshit, and I’m happy to dispute most standard guidelines for plotting, character development etc. Yet here I am recommending this book. It’s that useful. If you want to write stories, you’llfind something good in it. Nuff said.

The Broken Kingdoms N. K. Jemison. Book 2 in an epic epic fantasy series. (bonus: the series is done!)  I keep meaning to recommend this to my dad, lifelong fan of phenomenal world-builders & lyrical prosemakers. The problem is, I always get distracted by other things when we’re on the phone. (HI, DAD! READ N. K. JEMISON. START WITH THE ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS)

Fluffy romances. All of the historical variety. Some Cathy Maxwell, some Sarah Maclean, some Victoria Alexander. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I read a lot of them. Most have problematic elements and some make me wince. But they’re easy on the brain, and sometimes I just want some snappy dialogue and a short, simple theme park ride of a plot.

I also got a sneak peek at Rights of Use, which is an “aliens are real” science-fiction novel you won’t want to miss by an author named Shannon Eichorn. It’s in the publishing process now.I’ll let you know when it hits the shelves. It’s a rollicking fun read.

Next up on my list (along with more fluffy romances) are the books I bought at CapriCon & Concoction. Tune in next month for updates.

TV:

Jessica Jones season 2. This show took everything I appreciated in the character and ground it to pieces under the grimy old boots of “Angry Wimmens Be Evil.”  OMFG. I AM SO DISAPPOINT. I don’t even want to talk about it. Moving on.

Wait no, that’s it on TV. My DVR caught a glitch while most shows were on holiday break, but I only recently realized none of my regular shows were recording. I’ll catch up on Madame Secretary and Supernatural later. The rest? I didn’t miss them, so I won’t bother continuing with them.

MOVIES at home:

Thor Ragnarok. Twice. And I watched all the extra features too. Hey, it was a bad day, full of joint aches and dizziness and general physical misery. Superhero action+CGI battles+ a big dose of Chris Hemsworth totally helped.

Geostorm. A plot made of stupid & frosted with obvious committee decision-making, bereft of anything resembling scientific accuracy or authentic human interaction. Not recommended. Why did I watch it? HOLY CATS SO MUCH GLORIOUS ABSURD WEATHER CGI. Sometimes I am a shallow person.

Blade Runner 2049. It deserved the visual awards and really should’ve gotten the sound ones too. Gloomy, dark, and gritty, it plowed & twisted its way into plot territory where movies rarely tread. It not only stayed true to the (misogynist, misanthropic) feel of the original but built on the foundation in unexpected, fascinating ways. I’m astonished it got made.  Glad I saw it. Don’t ever need to see it again.

THEATER MOVIES:

Black Panther. Everything I want in a movie and more. Drama, humor, fine acting, brilliant costuming & moviecraft, and ACTION.  I could quibble about the iffy subtext of the antagonist’s motivations and tragic flaw, but NO I WON’T. First off, it would require spoilers and I don’t do real movie reviews. Second of all, I’m not the reviewer to tackle that. My take starts and ends with WAKANDA FOREVER, over and done.

Tomb Raider: Some Subtitle I’ve Already Forgotten. I planned to skip this one until it hit Netflix. I was only a spectator to the original video game, and I wasn’t impressed by the Angelina Jolie versions (sexy outfits, lousy writing) Meh, I thought. MEH.

Then this review from the Philly Voice hit my Twitter feed:

“She never comes across as having an ounce of sex appeal and, at times, looks like she could be sixteen. Toss in the lack of curves and Warner Brothers could have decided to gender bend and make a film titled Luke Croft and it would have come across much the same way.”

Female protagonist in a non-sexually charged slam-bang action plot? SIGN ME UP.  It was no Black Panther, but it was well-designed, decently-acted action flock that stayed true to its videogame plotting roots. I enjoyed it.

Pacific Rim: Uprising. Wow. Three great movies in a row. This movie world has an utterly absurd premise (giant robots driven by telepathically-linked human pairs fight extra-dimensional giant monsters with super-charged hand weapons? Uh.)  BUT. If you accept “that’s how things work in this world” then you get to revel in a fantastic sports movie without the boring sports part. Plus tons of kickass giant robot action.

Side note: John Boyega (the lead) is a phenomenal actor. Action leads can get away with playing basically the same role in a lot of different movies (Ahem. Clint Eastwoood, Mel Gibson)  but Boyega was effortlessly NOT “Finn in Star Wars only in a different setting.”

KITCHEN THINGS:

I have been playing with my egg bake recipe and making scones of various types pretty regularly. Working through the last of the summer’s applesauce, blueberry & cherry stashes. As if I needed an excuse to eat fruits & drink cider.

I was going to make some whipped cream to go with apple stuff and remembered AGAIN that my stick blender is missing. I have no idea if I loaned it to someone or left it somewhere or have lost it in the kitchen, but it’s gone. First noticed its absence before Christmas, forgot, noticed around New Year’s, forgot…at this point I need to consider buying a new one.

Look for the final decision in the next report.