Monday, October 31, 2005

A new sale

My story "The Mind of the Cat" has just been picked up for the June issue of Aoife's Kiss. Originally this story was to appear in an anthology called "Standing on Mars," but sadly Jim Baker passed away before the collection could be it's appropriate that Aoife's Kiss would pick up the story, as the editor, Tyree Campbell, and I were both "discovered" by Jim Baker.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Final MileHiCon Post...for now

I'm going to sum everything else up in one posting, as I'm getting tired of writing these things. As with the last few, if you really want this to make sense, scroll down to the entry titled "MileHiCon first post," and then read up from there.

Saturday night ended with a party for Tales of the Talisman. Crazy bunch of people, and unfortunately, there was a camera there, so I'm sure those pictures will be surfacing at some point. I have a feeling the Charlies Angels picture will haunt me til the day I die. If I can get my hands on the photos, I'll post them on my site, and maybe some really obnoxious ones here.

Sunday morning then came too early. I hit a couple of panels during the day, and hung out in the dealers' room, and spent a lot of time talking to people I'd met during the weekend.

As the Con was coming to a close, I realized that I'd almost managed to cover my expenses with the books I'd sold (not bad for only my second Con,) so I decided I wanted to go out and celebrate. Dawn Stanley was in the dealers' room at the time, so I invited her to dinner. (That doesn't necessarily sound good...the way that's phrased...makes it sound like I was stuck with her, but that's not what I was trying to say. I was more than happy to take her to dinner.)

In a strange twist of fate, Ed Bryant, a friend of Dawn's and a multi-award winning author, ended up going to dinner with us...and dinner lasted a looooooooooong time, but we had a great time...other than Dawn spilling her iced tea all over me.

Then the Con was over, and now I'm looking for a new Con, so if you know of some, let me know. I have a few in mind for next year, but I haven't finalized any plans yet.

And in a note to fellow writer Keith Graham...I hope these postings save a lot of kittens!!! He'll understand, but the rest of you won't...

As an epilogue to the whole MileHiCon extravaganza, I've gotten a lot of great e-mails from people I've met there. A few people have added links to my site on theirs, and it looks like I might be doing a book signing at Who Else Books sometime next year. I'll keep everyone informed as I get more information.

If you can't tell...This was one of the best experiences of my life...even returning to the job that's too dreadful to mention hasn't been able to kill my spirit yet...but give it will...

Rogues and Rogue Writers

This is yet another MileHiCon post...this is getting way out of hand, but you guys wanted me to do this blog, and you wanted to know what was going on in my it's your own damn fault.

Again, if you want this to make more sense, scroll down to the "MileHiCon First post," and then read up...

If you're a writer, and you're ever asked to participate in such a panel, make sure you're one of the first readers. The idea behind the panel is that each person does a brief reading of their work...emphasis on brief. I was the moderator, which basically meant that I got to go last...bad luck for me.

When the panel started, there were more than 20 people in the room. By the time I was able to read, there were four (other than the panelists.) A combination of people taking longer than they should, some bad writing, and some bad readers scared everyone off. That's not to say everything was bad. I did enjoy some of the work, but there were a few that made me cringe "in a thousand different ways."

The response to my reading (the second chapter of The Opium of the People...the torture scene) was positive...and to put it mildly, I felt much better about my writing after that panel.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Halloween imagery

Cathy Buburuz just sent me a halloween greeting as she does every year, and I loved the graphic, so here it is.


Again, this is part of the MileHiCon posts, so if you want this to make more sense, scan down to the entry marked "MileHiCon First Post," and the scroll up from there.

I had a book signing scheduled for 5 on Saturday, and it was pretty boring. I basically spent most of it talking to Alyse, Adam, Dawn, and Nina (from WhoElse Books.) A few people stopped by, including one who was more interested in Alyse than in my books...he disappeared quickly when he realized who Adam was.

I did sell one book, but that was to Dawn. I think maybe she felt like she had to buy something because she'd been picking my brain for a sociology paper she was doing. She didn't need to feel obligated...I was enjoying the conversations, but a sale is a sale is a sale, right?

After the signing, we hit the bar! Not to get drunk, but for more questions and answers for her sociology paper. Lots of fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Alien Archaeology panel

I've realized that with the way these are posted, each new posting might not make sense. This is still part of the MileHiCon postings. If you haven't read the earlier ones, or if you just want this to make more sense, scroll down to the posting called "MileHiCon First Post," and then start reading up...

This panel was an interesting one. I had the idea that it was going to be us discussing what alien archaeology might look like, how we would excavate it, should we excavate it, etc. I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead, we were given "artifacts" and asked to explain their purposes.

This panel included guest of honor, David Drake, and a couple of improv guys that I was totally unprepared for, and of course, Laura Givens as moderator. If you've never met Laura, you need to, it's quite the experience (and I mean that in a good way.......sort of.)

There were six of us, and I guess we were grouped perfectly...the two improv guys together, two intellectuals together and myself and the only woman on the panel looking like a couple of deer in headlights.

The discussions quickly deteriorated into double, then triple, and finally quadruple entendres...well, not got raunchy fast, and the Bush bashing was great (placing those two concepts in the same sentence might give people the wrong idea, I suppose.)

It ended up being revealed that I'd had an affair with my fellow archaeologist on one of our digs (with the female archaeologist, I should add.) And we played that up as much as we could...even the next day we were still at it, and yes, this is where Laura really embarassed me...caught me completely off guard, in fact.

The highlight, next to the brain sucking gun from the planet Bushonia had to be the device that allowed you to project scenes from a movie. One guy throwing himself on the table doing a full impersonation of the alien-stomach scene from Alien. Words can't do it had to be there. My friend Alyse was there, and I don't think she'll ever forget that....

More later...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I'm writing again

I'll get back to the MileHiCon posts eventually, but the big news for today is that I'm writing again. I cranked out about 3,000 words in the novel that doesn't want to get written. That's the best production I've had in quite some time.

Maybe things are finally starting to turn around...or more likely, I've decided that it's time to make things turn around.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tales of the Talisman Panel

Saturday started out with the Tales of the Talisman panel. The four other panelists with me were editor David Lee Summers, Art Editor Laura Givens, and authors Nicole Givens-Kurtz and David Riley. We had a fairly small audience, but I had expected that. The panel mostly consisted of David talking about the zine's history, but he was gracious enough to let me plug Sam's Dot and The Genre Mall for a while.

It was a good panel, and I began to get a sense of Laura Givens' real personality....more on that very soon...

The bar

Friday night we had a little get together in the bar at the hotel...writers networking, you might say. Normally I'm very shy in these kinds of situations, but I basically decided "screw it," and grabbed a chair and butted right in at a full table. I ended up sitting between James Van Pelt (who many of you should know) and Rick Friesen (who many of you probably don't know.) From there people shifted around and we talked about everything you would expect...and more.

This, to me, is the highlight of the Con, as you get to meet a lot of different people and everyone is always so nice...whether they've never published anything in their lives, or even if they're guest of honor Alan Dean Foster (he was there too, although I never managed to make it over to his table.)

If you want to get to know writers, I've learned, you want to hang out in the bar!!!

This was also when I had a sociology grad student start to pick my brain...but more on that later...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Autograph Alley

MileHiCon started out for me with Autograph Alley. They basically put as many authors together as they can in the dealers room and in the hallway outside. For me, this meant that I was in a hallway...farthest from the dealers room, and in a corner. We didn't see too much traffic, but I did get a chance to catch up with Mike Brotherton, who I had met last year, and I also met Michael L. Wentz, who has a new YA SF book out that sounded interesting, but I'm afraid it's not quite my thing.

I had one fan tell me that he had checked my latest collection out of his school library to do a book report on, which I found to be very interesting, since the book has only been out about two months, and I'm quite sure it's not in any libraries yet.

I also had a storm trooper ask me about my first collection. You meet all kinds at the Cons.

The three of us had some great conversation, and none of us signed a book for the entire hour and a half that we were there...but that's a Friday night at a Con...most people seem to spend their money on Sundays.

More later.......

MileHiCon first post

I'm going to be making several postings here over the next few days about the Con. There's just too much to tell in one posting. If you've been to my site, then you've seen the names of the people I wanted to thank...if you haven't been there, then head over there and check out the names. I won't post them here to avoid redundancy.

Overall, I learned a lot at this Con, stayed up way too late over and over and over again, and actually sold some books...almost enough to cover my expenses, which blew my mind.

I did have someone corner me in the dealers room wanting one of my books because he had seen me on a panel...a panel that I thought was a disaster...but that just shows you what I know.

I picked the brains of everyone that I could, and was glad to have my brain picked from time to time.

Overall, I feel quite a bit more confident in my abilities as a writer, and in my ability to actually do these if I could just finish this god damn book that doesn't want to be written, I'd feel a lot better. Of course, Connie Willis was saying pretty much the same thing, so I guess I'm in some damn good company.

More later.......

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Time to be a geek

Tomorrow afternoon I'll be leaving for MileHiCon here in Denver. Cons are the best. You get to be yourself (usually that means being a geek), and no one looks down at you because you're surrounded by people that don't fit in to society...and refuse to fit into society. These, I've found over the years, are the MOST interesting people in the world.

So, if you're planning on being a geek at the Con, let me know...I'd love to meet up with people. I won't be hard to find...I'm on three panels and I'm doing two signings.

I'll look for all of you there................

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Book signing added

MileHiCon has added another book signing for me. I will be in the dealers room Sat. Oct. 22nd from 5-6 P.M.

This is right after Connie Willis signs, so it might be a great opportunity for me.

For more info on the Con, click on the title of this entry, and it should take you to their site.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

UNICEF and the smurfs

This is part of a new ad campaign put together by UNICEF in Belgium (not Belgium in the Hitchiker's universe). I'm not sure if I liked the picture because it's a good way of getting the point across, or if I liked it because I'd like to see this actually happen to the smurfs...anyway, enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The First Snow

We're getting our first snow of the season here in Denver, and I couldn't be happier. I love snow...I'd be happy in Alaska or Canada...the northern parts, that is. In addition to being beautiful to look at, snow stirs something in me that usually helps me to create...more than half of my fiction has been written in late Fall and Winter...must be something to that. Perhaps it's the fact that I grew up in Northern Ohio, and got used to seeing lots of snow.

Anyway, with the snow falling, the Con plans being finalized, and with a day off (after working 24 hours in a 48 hour period), I'm hoping to get some writing done. Although I wish the next week and a half would just fly by so I could be at MileHiCon.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Oct. 21-23 I will be doing MileHiCon. Here's my schedule for anyone that is thinking of attending. Please feel free to drop me an e-mail if you're going to be there...

7:30-9:00 Autograph alley...with a bunch of big names.

1:00-1:50 Tales of the Talisman, the birth of a magazine

2:45-3:50 Alien of the guests of honor is on this one with me.

9:00-12:00 Late Night Rouge and Roguish writers...10 minute reading session...apparently I'm one of the moderators for this one.

I may be doing another autograph session as well.