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.

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Footsteps to Follow

The footsteps of great men have lead the way and we are left alone to follow them. Some have left prints so deep in the sand that they look like mini lakes to those of us standing on the shore and looking forward. How can anyone possibly fill the shoes that left steps imprinted so deep?

The answer is, no one can. Great men never intended for someone to walk directly in their footsteps. They merely hoped that by leaving a mark behind, others may head in the same direction and forge their own paths somewhat parallel.

This does not mean great men never had faults, doubts, or struggles. It just means even when they were brought to their knees they still moved forward. Grief can be strong enough, even for a stranger, that it may feel as if your feet were cut from underneath you. Keep moving forward anyway. It is what those we grieve for did, and what we must do if we want our paths to remain parallel.

Leonard Nimoy, you will be missed.

Leonard Nimoy

Thursday Is Not Monday, but here is a post

whats-your-storyIt is currently 6 a.m. on a November Thursday morning. I missed Monday’s post again. It is getting more and more difficult to post on my work week.

I may have to go down to two posts a month rather than one every week. That is something I will have to consider later. Right now it is November so that means it is Nation Novel Writing Month.

Truthfully, I did not plan on participating this year. I have so much going on I did not intend to add one more thing. That was before vampire slaying hobos happened though. (Long story.)

So now a friend of mine and I are writing novels about the same characters hoping that by the end of the month, between the two of us, we will have an actual readable book or at least a few short stories. We only have working titles right now but look for our finished project sometime in January.

Right now I have some writing to get done. Since both kids are home sick I need to get to it while they are still asleep. Have a great day everybody and happy writing!

Missed Monday

I didn’t forget to post this week. Well, I kind of did. I was distracted on Monday by this show on the Science channel about how they were using pig bladders to regrow fingers and leg muscles. True story. Look up Pig Matrix Regeneration if you don’t believe me. I’ll even make it simple and give you a link.

There were a few moments where I could have posted on Monday but it would have been rushed so I decided to wait a day. Then my daughter’s computer broke. (We are getting it repaired but in the mean time she is sharing mine.) Then work exploded in a big ball of stress. (Not really exploded, but the stress bomb exploded and everyone has been wounded by stress shrapnel. It is all caused by one person who likes to show up, throw weight around, and put monkey wrenches into ever working cog.)

I guess my point is, I meant to post but life happened. I’ll do better next Monday.

Balloons, Panels, and Books

panel2My Saturday at LibertyCon is winding down I can’t help but be satisfied. I got the chance to meet and talk to some talented writers, I bought a ton of books, and got a few new short story ideas sketched out.  Most recently I went to the book release party for Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin.

Truthfully, I had not heard of Gail Z. Martin before this convention.  I am incredibly glad I’ve been introduced to her now and I very much look forward to reading her new book.  It sounds like it is really going to be a good one. (It’s urban fantasy just in case anyone was wondering.)  She has some short stories in the same setting. (And quite a few other books as well.)

I got some good tips on writing from Louise Herring-Jones and Gail.  There were suggestions that I reverse plot my space opera and maybe take a look at my point of view. I think that maybe just what I need in order to straighten out some of the problems.

Earlier today I went to some great panels and listened to Scott W. Baker, Timothy Zahn, panelLouise Herring-Jones, Gail Z. Martin, Dan Hoyt, Travis Taylor, John Ringo, and many others. I have books signed by Sarah A. Hoyt, Jason Cordova, Eric S. Brown, and D.B. Jackson.

This has been a great convention and just what I needed. It has been a learning experience, a mini vacation, and a sort of family reunion all rolled into one.  Or rather, a Friendly reunion.  I’ve seen friends I usually only see once a year like Ray, Stephanie Osborn, Dan and Lindsey Hollifield, and Scott W. Baker.

doc osbornDaryl “Doc” Osborn also made me a “subtle” balloon hat when we watched his Balloons of Doom act.  Bright orange, red, pink and yellow; it is almost as tall as I am with a red heart perched at the top. I had to bend it over to enter and exit buildings and the elevator had me worried.  He also turned one of the hotel golf carts into a bat mobile using balloons.

LibertyCon 27 has been awesome but now it is after midnight and I need to sleep. Good night.

 

 

Aphelion

aphelion june 2014Looking for something to read? Or maybe a place to submit a science fiction short story or get some great feed back in order to improve your writing?  Let me introduce you to an awesome webzine  called Aphelion.

Aphelion publishes original work in poetry, fantasy, sci-fi, and horror fiction.  It is a non-paying publication, or rather Aphelion doesn’t pay money.  It does help new writers polish their craft.

Aphelion Editor Dan Hollifield is a self proclaimed “Godfather” of new writers. He has a passion to help new writers ” learn their chops“.

Imagine a white haired southern gentleman sitting behind a dark wood stained desk, dressed to the nines, and with  big dragon fly wings that flit into existence every so often.  Sort of like the Godfather/Fairy Godfather of Amateur Writers. Mixing horse heads with pumpkin carriages

(This imagery was sparked by a conversation with Dan on Facebook, by the way.  “Listen to me, Kid. If you don’t start usin’ your spell-check, I’m gonna turn you into a pumpkin! Capiche? Gratzie…” )

If you are looking for a place to get some decent feed back or even just to connect with other writers, I suggested you check out their forum. If you are looking for some good fiction read the webzine. If you have something you would like published, submit it. And to make it even better?  It doesn’t cost you a penny. Aphelion is free and without advertisements to interrupt your reading.

 

 

 

Doctors

sick kittyI’m sick.  I’ve had a cold for over a week now and I just can’t seem to shake it.  Work has been crazy so I haven’t had time to slow down and get better.  I’ve just kept muddling on but there has been little energy left for anything else.  Hence the missed Monday morning blog post.

My friend tells me I should go to a doctor. tardis type 40 I told him I’ve been watching Doctor Who but that doesn’t seem to count.  He doesn’t see how a British T.V. show about a time and space traveling alien can make me feel better.  But it has somewhat.

kitten sleepHours of just laying on the couch sipping tea with honey and letting my immune system do its job is helping.  I still have a small cough, my head still feels like it weighs more than the rest of me, and my skull is still squeezing my brain but I am getting better.  It’s just a slow process.