Friday, October 26, 2012

Con withdrawal

It's been five days since MileHiCon ended, and spending almost a week back in the "real" world makes me realize that I'm going through Con withdrawal.  I wish it was within our means to do more cons.
Maybe I just need to start writing or editing more so I can move up to that Guest of Honor title...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some writerly advice

As some of you may know, I'm the featured writer at Word Weavers this week, and I promised them a blog for Tuesday, so I thought I'd dedicate the entry to some of the things I've learned as a writer and an editor over the years.  Some of it is common sense, and I'm sure most writers already know this stuff, but you never know, you might learn something new.
A writer should always try to write every day.  It's not always easy, and I'm certainly guilty of not doing this anymore.  I used to write almost every day, but now that I'm married and have kids, it's not as easy.  As the little one gets older, I imagine it will get easier.
Always follow guidelines.  This one may seem pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many people do not follow guidelines.  None of the magazines that I edit publish horror, and yet I get at least one horror submission every month.
Network, network, network.  In the computer age, every writer needs to network with other writers, and most certainly with readers.  Be sure to have a Facebook page, since that's where the majority of people are hanging out these days.  When that changes in a couple of years (remember MySpace), move along with the change, and keep meeting new people.
If you're a genre writer, go to Cons.  Some people are intimidated by cons, because let's face it, some of the fans can be a bit intense, but they are fans, and if you can get them reading your work, and liking it, they'll be fans forever.  Cons are also a great way to meet other writers, and to talk face to face with editors.  I'm approached by at least a dozen people at every con wanting to talk about Sam's Dot.  You can really learn a lot at a Con.
Be open to criticism.  Even people who don't like your work might be able to give you some good pointers on how to improve.  Now, I'm obviously not talking about the haters out there, but people that have genuine reasons for not liking your work can improve your writing skills.  Yes, you most certainly have to have thick skin, but no matter how good of a writer you are (or you think you are), someone is not going to like your work.
Most important advice of all...persevere.  I have seen a lot of truly talented writers that couldn't take the rejection of writing, and gave up because of it.  And I've seen a lot writers who didn't have much talent to start with, but continued to write and submit no matter what.  After years, these writers developed into true talents because they kept practicing and they learned from their mistakes.
Not sure if any of this helps, but I thought I'd put it out there for anyone that is interested.

Monday, October 22, 2012

MileHiCon recap

Another MileHiCon has come and gone, and it was another great one.  The staff at the Con is always fantastic, and they do such a great job.
Friday started out with a panel about Copyright Law.  I know a little about this, but nowhere near as much as the other panelists, so I just chimed in when it seemed appropriate, but I think we gave the audience a lot of good information, and the panel was very well attended.  A couple of hours later, I had my reading.  This year I was by myself, so it was only sparsely attended, but those that were there seemed to enjoy the reading.
Saturday morning I did a panel about the future of gaming.  A lot of the panel talked about console and computer gaming, which I don't have a lot of time for (you know, family, job, editing, writing, game creation, and all of that kind of stuff), but I was able to talk quite a bit about RPGs and such.  It was another well attended panel, and the audience was great, and I hope we entertained them, which I think we did.  We had some serious clowns on that panel.  I then did a signing, which was more of a "here, take my card" kind of thing, but that's how it usually is for small press authors.  Later in the day I did a panel on the small press, which was a lot of fun, and again was very well attended.  We had a lot of fun with that one as well.
We then went to the masquerade, which is always a good time, but I think some of the costumes are getting a little out of control.  There are a lot kids in the audience, and I think some of the costumes are getting a bit too risque for kids, but I guess some people just want attention however they can get it.
Sunday I only had gaming with the participants, but we couldn't come up with enough people to get the game going, so that was a wash.
The kids had a good time, although I'd like to see the older two take more interest in doing things.  They just want to sit on the sidelines and watch other people do.  There's a family that has two boys that are a each a year or two older than our oldest girls, and we always spend a lot of time with them.  Alexis has really taken a shine to their oldest boy, and she always was looking for him, and enjoyed beating him up with a bat'leth.
Overall, a great Con.  Can't wait for next year!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Getting ready for the Con, and other stuff

We're just a few days away from MileHiCon, and I'm starting to gear up for it by deciding just what books to take and such.  I always bring way too many, always in the hope that I'll somehow sell out during my signing...hasn't happened yet...but it might.
I've been finishing up a new supplement for the Ephemeris RPG.  This one's The Cyber Wizard's Sourcebook, and it's helped to refresh my memory a bit on the game...just in case anyone shows up to play on Sunday.
We should start packing for the Con in a couple of days, but I always like to hold off on that for as long as I can, because let's face it, this is Colorado, and you can never be sure what the weather will do in October...or any other month, for that matter.
For those of you following my adventures with the health and insurance industries...we finally have approval from the insurance company for the CT scan.  That will be taking place on the 25th.  Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hopefully closing a chapter

Today was sentencing for the guy who held Rebecca up.  He will be going away for 20 years, and the DA says that he probably won't even be eligible for parole for 15 years.  By that time, two of our kids will be adults, and the youngest will be driving...that's a long time, and it's an amount of time that's difficult to comprehend when put into those terms.
I was very proud of Rebecca.  Even though this guy has changed her life so dramatically, she still found the courage to actually stand up in front of everyone in the courtroom, and tell him exactly what was on her mind.
This is what she had to say:
January 31st changed my life.  I was just doing my job to pay my bills and to take care of my three kids, when he walked in and pulled out a gun and robbed me.
Now I find it very hard to trust anyone, and all of my relationships with family, friends, and my husband have suffered as a result of this crime.  I can't cope with my life the way I used to, and I am trying to get back on track and deal with things the best that I can.  He took so much from me, and now I'm struggling to trust people again.  It's been almost nine months, and I'm still having anxiety attacks and I panic when I see people that look similar to him, or people who are in hats or hoodies.  It's going to take a while before I am myself again, and before I can see the world the way I used to.
I hope he sees how wrong he was, and I hope he wants to change.  He still has many years of his life in front of him, and it's my hope that he ends up being a better person.  I haven't forgiven him for hurting me, but one day I hope to.  I need to be able to move on.

After she'd expressed herself, he talked quietly to his attorney, and through the exchange, I could hear him saying that he wanted to say something.  Finally, he did actually say that he was sorry, and he was working to change his life.  Apparently he took to a life of crime because he'd gotten heavily into drugs.  It's not a valid excuse, but at least we now know why he did it.
As they were leading him away, he was crying.  Maybe he will change, but only time will tell...

Monday, October 08, 2012

Word Weavers

A long time ago in a galaxy far far, wait, scratch that.  A long time ago at a place called Myspace (you remember that place, right) there was a group called Word Weavers.  It was a group designed for writers to network and readers to find new writers.  Well, the group is back on Facebook at, and starting the week of Oct. 22nd, I will be the featured writer, so head over and like the page now.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

My revised MileHiCon schedule

These things are always very fluid up until the Con starts, so here's my revised schedule for the Con...

Friday 4:00 pm
Understanding the Impossibly Tortuous Galactic Copyright Laws

Friday 6:00 pm

Saturday 10:00 am
What's New in Gaming

Saturday 11:00 am

Saturday 1:00 pm
Small Press Onward

Sunday noon
Playing with Participants
A game of Ephemeris...

Friday, October 05, 2012

Insurance companies are doctors???

It would seem that our insurance company has decided that I don't really need a CT scan.  They're requiring that the surgeon that I had a consultation with call them and convince them that I need a CT scan.
It seems outrageous to me that we live in a country where insurance companies have more say in our health care than our doctors...but I guess this is what happens when political parties give in to big business.
So, as a result of this, I'm now in a holding pattern about what will happen to me in the I guess I just have to continue being in pain...

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

My MileHiCon schedule

Things are still subject to change, but here's what my schedule looks like at the moment...

Friday October 19th 4:00 p.m.
Wind River A
Understanding the Impossibly Tortuous Galactic Copyright Laws
I may have to wing some of this one...

Friday October 19th 10:00 p.m.
Mesa Verde A
Blood, Vampires, & Murder: Late Night Readings
That's a lot later than I usually stay up, so that may be entertaining in and of itself...

Saturday October 20th 1:00 p.m.
Mesa Verde A
Small Press Onward
This one will be with those trouble makers Maggie Bonham and Carol Hightshoe, so this will be fun, to say the least.

Sunday October 21st Noon
Playing with Participants
I doubt that I'll have anything ready for The Battle for Turtle Island, so I'll probably be running a game of Ephemeris.

The signings haven't all been assigned yet, so there's a good chance I'll have a signing as well.  I'll let you know more as I know more.