LibertyCon 31, 2018

Day 1 of LibertyCon 31:

We arrived at the convention a little later than originally planned but our timing worked to our advantage. My sister-in-law and I got our badges and checked into the hotel without issue. We’ve been to a few awesome panels and bought probably our weight in books. I’ve met some new people and was able to reconnect with old friends. So far we have had a good time.

The only problems that have shown their warty heads were the internet connection and the fact that we went left when we should have gone right (or the reverse) after getting off the elevator a few minutes ago. This meant we spent ten minutes trying to open a door that was to the wrong room. It took a handy passerby to point this out to us. In our defense, we were tired and just about ready for bed.  I am looking forward to tomorrow.

libertycon 31 no shit there I was

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Awkward Introductions

Remember how I said you will probably be hearing from me a lot this week? You had a two day gap. I hope you enjoyed it, because now that the paying the bills job is over for the week, I can concentrate on that writing thing I do. Part of that is to tell you all about the awesome from LibertyCon 28, possibly the best convention I have ever been too.

So on with my Con Tales.

You meet a lot of interesting and talented people at conventions in a variety of ways. Sometimes other people introduce you. Sometimes you just fall into conversation at a panel or you ask the right question at the right time.

However, I do not recommend having your phone tumble from your pocket into the next occupied stall over, while you are in a public restroom. True story. To make matters worse the camera turned on when it hit the floor.

Fortunately, for all parties involved, it wasn’t set for selfies and instead the screen showed a blurry black view of  the tile. After apologizing and retrieving my phone, I made a hasty retreat before the other person came out of their stall. Yes, I am a coward but I thought it best to avoid any more awkwardness. The fates disagreed.

Later in the day my friend Ernest Dempsey was signing autographs in the dealers room. I stopped by to say hi and to thank him for listening to me whine earlier. (You didn’t think I would tell my stories in order did you? Yeah, I should have, but this is the one on my mind so it is getting told first. Ranting about schools and talking to random Australian tourists will come later.) He was just finishing up and told me about the man who had, moments before, been seated to his left.

Jacob Holo is an author of science fiction and also has a young adult book that looks really interesting. According to Ernest, the man was just as interesting as his fiction. He is one of those rare individuals who seem to be happy in all their lives: personal, professional, and even day job. He suggested I talk to him because I like to meet interesting people. (By the way, you can check out some of Ernest Dempsey’s books for free if you follow the link to his website.)

I caught up with Jacob outside of the women’s restroom where he was waiting for his wife. (Yes, the same one.) I asked him for an interview for my blog to which he graciously agreed. Once his wife returned ,we all three moved outside in order to be able to hear each other better.

I introduced myself again and took a look at the people I was about to interview. Jacob was a well dressed young man in a bow tie. His wife was a bouncy woman with sort of a pixie hair cut and a happy smile. I also noticed she had good taste in shoes. In fact I had already seen that exact pair of shoes once already.

As many of you know, sometimes my brain is connected directly to my mouth with no stops in between. So of course I blurted out, “I know you!” And then proceeded to introduce myself as the person of the awkward phone fall. I could have let the whole thing remain unspoken and only something floating around in my head, but no. My brain doesn’t work that way. Instead I outed myself as the odd phone woman and we all had a laugh.

(She really does have good taste in shoes. I was wearing the same ones, only mine weren’t as clean and were trimmed in blue instead of pink. But back to Jacob. )

I found Jacob Holo to be accommodating and well spoke. (He also recovers quickly from odd conversations.)  He writes Science Fiction, Fantasy, and YA. The book covers are absolutely stunning and I greatly regret not picking one up for him to sign. I did purchase one of them in ebook on Amazon and so far it is fantastic. I think I may have found another favorite author. If you are looking for something new to read, I suggest you check out: The Dragons Of Jupiter, Time Reavers, and Bane Of The Dead.

Bane Of The Dead is the first book in his new Seraphim Revival series. It is also the book I am currently reading. If you like mechs done right this is the book for you.

Also keep your eyes open in the future for Heather. She writes under the name H.P. Holo. Her first book should be out by late 2015/early 2016. It is a steampunk fantasy novel filled with murder, wizards and a talking pug butler. (Yes, you read that right. The butler is a pug, as in the dog breed.) I am really looking forward to it.

The Monday After

Good Morning. Yes of course this is morning. I just woke up and I work all night tonight so this has to be morning. My morning anyway.

LC prgramI spent an amazing weekend at LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN. I learned a lot, made some new friends, and got to hug the ones I only see in person once a year. I came home with so many Con stories that my daughter is insisting on going next year. (She went last year but decided not to attend this year and regretted it.)

I wish I was coherent enough to do this blog post justice but such is the way of conlag. I slept close to 13 hours. That has either helped or hurt. I can’t really tell and I haven’t caffeinated yet. I do know that my brain doesn’t feel so overstuffed now. I think all of the things I learned have settled into my brain like silt in a once disturbed river bottom. It is all still there but it isn’t clouding the view.

Expect more posts than you really want to see from me this week. I have to record all of LC28this stuff somewhere and since most of it was really cool, that means I have this need to inflict it upon others. At my very first panel on Friday I learned probably a dozen things I am doing wrong with my writing and a half dozen that I am doing right. That is valuable information.

Raleigh Comic Con Part 2:

A long time between posts, I know. My hands are feeling better so I can get back to writing. The right one, ironically, is still not one hundred percent so I can’t write for long periods of time.

However, I promised you people a sequel to the details of this year’s Wizard World Comic Con in Raleigh, North Carolina. We truly did have a great time and met some wonderful toby in linepeople. Writers, Artists, Actors, and Fans; it didn’t matter who we came across everyone seemed excited to be there.

My children didn’t exactly appreciate the length of some of thecaittie in line lines we had to stand in but they were willing to wait considering who was at the end of the line. Before I tell you about the longest line we had, I am going to tell you about a few of the shorter ones. (Though if you take in all the details from  the pictures, there is a big hint.)

I did meet a lot of talented professionals and picked up some new books as well as a ton of graphic novels. (Who can resist Sandman for three dollars?!)  One of the books I picked up was a children’s picture book titled: Jack’s Christmas.  It was written by J. Paige Straley and illustrated by Jason H. Whitley.  I know, it is an odd acquisition but I was drawn in by the paintings. There was one beautifully crafted page with a fox that sealed my fate. I didn’t actually read the book until later. I did however get it autographed by Jason, the illustrator, and it had been previously signed by the author as well.

sea urchinsAt Jason H. Whitley’s Table I also picked up a copy of  Sea Urchinswhich was also drawn by Jason. The Sunday comics style of this book drew me in and I wasn’t disappointed in the reading either. I think my favorite scene is the picture of this man who has been causing a lot of problems, walking around with the imprint of the main character’s shoe on his bottom. I loved it. Jason H. Whitley was very nice and didn’t seem to mind my questions. If anyone else is attending a Convention where he will be appearing this year, I encourage you to seek him out.

Note: I intended to only do three blog posts on Raleigh Comic Con. However, from the looks of it, it may turn into four. Thanks for your patience. (Also, this was dashed off before I had to dash off to work, so there may be more mistakes than usual since I didn’t get a chance to read through and edit. My apologies.)

And The Con Goes On

I typically only post on Monday but since my last couple of posts have been rather negative I thought I would do one more for this week to see if I can turn that around.  I am LibertyCon 27.  I have all the pillows from my hotel bed stacked behind me in order to keep me up right long enough to write this.

I am tired, (I’ve been awake for about 30 hours or so now) but I have had a good day. I got to talk to a great number of talented writers, bought a stack of new books, and I’ve spent the day with my daughter. (This is her first LibertyCon) Being a member of the walking dead is a small price to pay for all of that.

If I look out my window I can see the pool and the con goer crowded around it.  I don’t have to look in order to hear the cheerful chatting of like minded individuals having a good time.  As I lay here and think of sleep, the unintelligible murmur of happy voices make me smile. I feel content and I think I will sleep well tonight. I even got the bare bones of a new story down today while my daughter was in the pool. 🙂

Now I’ve done it…

overflow cover via amazonTwo days ago I published a book.  It is just a small chapbook of poems but it is out there, floating in cyberspace and available on Amazon.  I went through createspace and Amazon KDP, so I guess that means I am self-published. Or I went indie. Or I am a micro-press with a client of one.   You can take your pick on which one you want to use. I am still in that stage of semi shock, where I ask myself  “Okay I’ve got it, now what do I do with it?”

vampire-hunting-kitI know there are people out there turning up their noses and sharpening stakes because I didn’t go through the usual long trek up the mountain of publishing.  Hey, calm down it’s a chapbook, 24 pages at the most. And I have said all along that if I got my wish I would be a hybrid author. (I think I’ve said that here…I’ve certainly thought it enough.)

Will that wish ever be granted? Who knows.  What I do know is that I gathered a bunch of words I wrote and turned them into a book.

Was it easy?  Well, no.  I didn’t know what I was doing at first. I kept making stupid User-errormistakes and formatting was confusing.  But I kept at it until I was satisfied. (The formatting probably wouldn’t be that difficult for anyone else, it was user error on my part.)

I didn’t just slap the first draft of the chapbook up there and call it done.  I must have re-uploaded that thing at least two dozen times.   The important part is that I did it, and that I did it to the best of my ability.

I had someone I trusted look over my work for mistakes.  I didn’t settle with widows and orphans left on pages because of a single space. I went back through a took out the extra space.  Then re-uploaded again.   At one point all of the contractions were translated into kanji for some reason.  I went back and fixed that too.  Then I ordered a proof copy and priority-mail-boxwaited days for it to arrive so that I could quadruple check everything.

I decided on the cover. (It was a picture I took on a walk.) I decided the font, the color of the cover, the title, what went on the back, and even the color of the paper.  I do wish there were more font choices, but all in all I don’t think I did that bad.

Velocipede_for_LadiesThe thing is, now I know I can do it and that is kind of scary. Kind of like learning to ride a bike.  When you first ride by yourself it’s exciting. You made it to the end of the driveway! Go You!  But then you realize there are more places to ride than just to the end of the driveway.  There are hills out there. And hills are whole different terrain than the familiar flat drive way.

 

Sometimes sleep wins over blog posts

Yesterday instead of coming home from work and going to bed, I picked the kids up from their dad’s and headed down to Con Nooga.  ( A smallish multi-fandom convention in Chattanooga.)  It was well worth the loss of sleep.  I got to meet up with some friends I hadn’t seen it a long time, as well as pick up a few writing tips and a few new reads.

I bought more books than I planned on but I am not sorry.  I am looking forward to reading some good fiction from great authors.  I will do another post this week (maybe even today) after I have had some sleep. (I worked last night too.) Right now each letter I type takes way too much concentration just to push a button.  I’m tired.  Sleep now, better blog post later.