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.

Cutting Back On Distractions

pocket watchThis is the beginning of a brand new week. It is roughly two weeks until Libertycon, I have my new short story out, several more in the works, and a lot of work ahead for all the hats I wear.

As a mom I will be venturing into the waters of homeschooling my rising 5th grader. As a writer I need to focus on getting more of my stuff finished, polished, and out there. As an employee I need to find away to balance all the work we have to do at night and my sanity. As a gardener I need to learn the difference between a garden and a jungle.

(That last one is for real. I just planted a simple, small square of ground. I didn’t even expect it to grow. I kind of just tossed seeds in the ground, covered them up, watered them, and left it alone. On occasion I water the plants some more. Then I leave for one weekend and when I come back pumpkin vines with leaves the size of elephant ears have started creep over the back yard.)

The point is since I have the same 24 hours as everyone else, and no one seems to be stickfigureselling extra sand for the hour glass. I need to cut back on some things so I can concentrate more on others. Finding these “things” is easy enough. I am a known procrastinator. Facebook and “checking email” are probably the main two ways I waste time on the computer, so I will start cutting back there. I will still visit facebook, twitter, and my inbox but I will be cutting down the amount of time I spend snared in the web.

I only post here once a week usually, so there won’t be any changes here. Maybe I will even be more on time with those Monday posts. Wish me luck. 🙂

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. 🙂

The troll and Uncle Timmy

There is this thing about the internet that makes some people think that flaunting stupidity is okay and something to be cheered.  Trolls don’t just live under bridges anymore.  They live in comments and behind fake names.

Pardon me while I rant.

Two days ago a writer by the name of Jason Cordova, posted this on his blog.  I wish I had seen this the day it was posted.  I second or 102nd the outrage people are expressing about “Uncle Timmy” being uninvited to Archon.

You see I am just a fan. Just a nobody really.  I like science and science fiction. I like to write science fiction, fantasy, and poetry.  I am also an introvert with anxiety depression.

I have attended many anime conventions over the years with my small group of friends.  The fact that my friends were with me made the crowds okay.  I had never attended a science fiction convention until two years ago.

I don’t even remember how I found out about LibertyCon.  (Probably stumbled over it on a webpage somewhere.)  I do remember being both excited and nervous as I ordered tickets.  I went by myself and was sure everyone could hear my heartbeat echoing in the parking garage as I got out of my car.

I wandered around until I finally asked where check in was.  A long table covered in white table cloths stretched down a sort of crowded hall.  I had seen bigger crowds but usually I had the buffer of my friends on either side.  When I stepped up to pick up my badge, a graying-dark haired, heavy set man with a beard handed me my piece of laminated plastic.  He grinned at my hesitant questions but answered them all and in just a few minutes I didn’t feel as much like a gate crasher.   That man was Tim Bolgeo, otherwise know as “Uncle Timmy.”

I saw Uncle Timmy around a lot that weekend, though I didn’t really talk to him much.  I did see how he interacted with all and sundry. He was very at easy and really did seem like everyone’s favorite uncle.

This will be my third year attending Libertycon.  I am going by myself again but I am not worried.  It feels more like attending a family reunion than a convention.  I am positive that is largely do to the man who started Libertycon, though he has since stepped down.

True I don’t know Uncle Timmy very well.  I only know what I have seen.  And that is someone who is kind, funny, and intelligent. Not the same person the bridge dwelling comment troll complained about.

I have never attended Archon though I have considered it.  Now I don’t think I will.  The small amount of interest I did have, has just been killed by poor taste.

 

Heinlein’s Rules For Writers and other things I learned at LibertyCon

This weekend I attended LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN for the second year in a row.  I enjoyed it just as thoroughly this time as I did last year and learned even more.  As writers we often spend a lot of time on our own, even if it is just inside our heads.

Insecurities creep up on us because of the solitary nature of our craft.  It is nice to get out there and find other people who experience the same joys and the same set backs.  It is wonderful to know that you are not alone and not the only one facing certain problems.  And when you find those other like you, then realize they have found a few solutions to the problems you’ve been struggling with… well it’s enough to start the angels singing.

This is the reason so many professionals encourage writers to join or form writing groups.  Alcoholics have AAA, writers have writing groups.  They both serve the same purpose.  To offer support.

This is just the first post on my con experience this year. I will post again, preferably after I manage to get several uninterrupted hours of sleep.  It astounds me how often I learn something that is new to me but seems to be common knowledge to many others.  I believe Heinlein’s Rules For Writing falls into that category.  My thanks goes to authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta for enlightening me.

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Rule One: You Must Write

Rule Two: Finish What Your Start

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Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order3

Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market4

Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold 5