Posts Tagged ‘Samhain’
Sunday, July 3rd, 2011
I have survived the craziest 4 days in writing once again. RWA’s National conference has come and gone, and scenic Times Square New York has made a hefty impression. I had a great time, filled with productive networking, incredible workshops, tear-filled speeches, and even a little time for sightseeing. The air of positivity, support and creativity seemed to lift us all up, which is good, because the elevators couldn’t be relied on to do that in any particular hurry.
The Gathering – the annual awards dinner for the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal genre chapter was once again a smashing success, and the PRISM awards were handed out to some incredible writers. Science Fiction Romance was well represented (and even got a pair of nods at the Rita Awards for Marcella Brunard’s great romp “Enemy Within”).
Speaking of SFR – this year’s keynote speaker was Sherrilyn Kenyon, and there weren’t many dry eyes in the room after she told her story of triumph and success despite what seems like insurmountable adversity. Her signature, on the inside cover of my Nook, will be a reminder of her inspiring story, and will definitely be a place for me to look when I think it’s “just too hard” to do this crazy carousel. By comparison, I can assure you that I haven’t even begun to see a rough road.
Dry eyes were also hard to find during the Rita and Golden Heart awards – RWA’s yearly awards for published works and unpublished manuscripts. Most of the recipients got teary eyed with joy, and we followed right along with them. Tales of unwavering support, loyalty, and love reminded us that no matter how much this feels like a solitary endeavor, none of us exists in a vacuum.
Old friends were met, and tales of the last year were swapped (because despite all the time spent writing, I and many others are simply rubbish at answering our e-mail). New friends were met, and friendships kindled over drinks, cheesecake, and more drinks. Workshops filled us with new ideas, and if other folks are like me, left with notes about current and upcoming manuscripts scribbled hurriedly in the margins around their notebooks. Critique groups formed, and so did plot brainstorming circles. Manuscripts were pitched (and some of those will probably be started in the coming weeks, no matter what their state was declared to be when pitched).
In other words, it was the best of times and I was sorry to see it end. Now the challenge will be to keep the magical feeling of that time alive in the weeks after the Big Show has ended. Fortunately, like everyone else I talked to, I came away with my creative batteries at full charge, eager to take on the world and pour myself into the writing at a fever pitch. I hope that everyone else who attended got as much out of it as I did.
Friday, December 17th, 2010
Three weeks in a row. I think I may finally be back in the swing of things with this whole blog posting thing. Of course, now it’s the holiday season, when things promise to be much harder. Regardless, it’s another Friday, and that means it’s time for the glories of Potpourri link-dumps.
- First, as I pointed out, it’s the holiday season. Still not sure what to get your loved ones? How about some awesome Sci-Fi Romance? Impulse Power (featuring moi) is out in Print, just in time for the Feast of Alvis.
- So it turns out Fruit Flies show a biological type of Free Will (as opposed to philosophical Free Will, or Freewill off Rush’s seminal album Permanent Waves). Given identical sets of stimuli they tend to respond in predictable, but different, patterns.
- Pregnancy blog Pregnant Chicken did an entry on Awkward pregnancy photos – it’s… awkward actually sums it up pretty well. Let us say that the WTF is fast and furious. (Warning – one artsy NSFW photo at the bottom of the page)
- (With thanks to writing partner C.A. Young) I learned this week that, once again, the Glastonbury Thorn has been vandalized. People who do this sort of thing sadden me beyond words.
- While speaking to epic legends, the first real trailer for Thor is out. I’m guardedly optimistic about this one. Certainly, if you want to capture the Shakespearean melodrama of the old Thor comics, you could get a worse director than Brannagh. And certainly, our norse hero looks suitably impressive in the armor. And out. Rowr.
Friday, December 10th, 2010
It’s another week, another linkdump of random awesomeness. I’ve seen plenty to keep me scared this week, and that’s no lie. But I’ve also seen some awesome, for which I am partly responsible. *grin* I’ve decided to share both.
- If somehow you’ve missed it, this week saw the print release of Impulse Power. If you like your SF with a healthy dash of Romance, this is the collection for you, it features Nathalie Gray’s Metal Reign, Robert Appleton’s The Mythmakers and of course my own Hearts and Minds. Go get a dead tree version for your shelf! http://samhainpublishing.com/print/impulse-power-print
- While we’re talking Space Opera – it’s the holiday season, and what better way to show your geekly spirit than with a few Star Wars Paper Snowflakes: http://dancell.cwahi.net/star-wars-paper-snowflakes.html
- My Writing Partner recently sent me a link to Saya in Underworld, a translation site for dark and horrific stories from Japan. The author also has a love for cursed videos, though I’m not foolish enough to have watched any of them. If you’re braver thanI, go check out http://sayainunderworld.blogspot.com/
- Finally, nothing chills the heart like the end of an Empire, especially when the Empire is your own. For fascinating and all-too-easy-to-believe discussion on the Fall of America as a global power, check out http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2010-12-06/taking-down-america
- I lied – I’ve come back to add another link this morning, after reading it swelled my heart with pride, and made me proud to be a dyed-in-the-wool Star Wars Geek: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/12/09/katie.starwars.geek/ May the Force be with you, Katie.
Monday, November 29th, 2010
I’m going to be predictable for a bit, and write a short set of thank yous, as appropriate for the season. I know, it’s sappy and sentimental, but I get like that from time to time (especially as the nights get long.) We’ll try not to let such things happen too often.
First, like everyone would expect, I am thankful for my family. Without the support of my spouse, and the unconditional love of my dogs (not to mention their skill at keeping my feet warm in the office), this would be a harder row to hoe than it already is. As part of the family, I would like to thank my local writing partner – he’s been a gadfly the last few weeks, exactly when I’ve needed him the most. I’ve been a bit slack in the face of unexpected upheavals and excessive craziness. While my long-distance fellows are wonderful, sometimes having a guy on your doorstep every week challenging me to sprints is a great motivator.
I’m also thankful to Samhain Publishing and my editor Sasha – they’ve done right by me in a serious way the past year. I am thrilled and flattered to be one of their authors, and couldn’t be happier with the work they’ve done on my behalf. As an aside, anthologies make great presents, and Impulse Power (which includes my novella Hearts and Minds) will be available December 7th! Buy early and buy often.
Promotional blurb aside, I am also thankful for my friends both writerly and non. You’ve always been there for me, even though I have stubbornly refused to lean on you as much as you have offered. You are dear to me as any kin. Thank you all. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that there’s never enough time to hug the people whom you care about, and if there’s a motto for me to live by in the coming year, it’ll be to keep all of my friends closer to me than I have.
I’ve got so much more to thank, and could list people who have made the past year easier on me and helped make me the person I am. Still, I promised I’d keep this short, and that’s what I intend to do. If I missed you, it’s my failing not yours. Let me unfairly lump you all together in a single “Thanks”
Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Wow, so many things I could say about this for potpourri day. Suffice to say folks, we’re two days into RWA Nationals 2010, and it has been a wonderful time. Both the education opportunities and the networking opportunities are amazing. I can’t say enough good about the hotel and the conference.
As for how I’ve spent it, lets just say I’ve spent my days in workshops, and my nights socializing. The SFR Brigade had a little get together two nights ago, and tonight will be The Gathering for RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter. I’ve picked up a little sun down here, mostly during my spin through the Magic Kingdom, and I’ve met more wonderful people than I will ever be able to thank or remember.
Nora Roberts gave a phenomenal keynote speech that had us all cheering as she reminded us of how far we’ve come in the last 30 years, and about the friendships that form at Nationals that can carry you through a lifetime.
This is an unusually rambly post for a Potpourri day, but I wanted to start a write up of the fun and hard work that has gone into this conference. Truly, having a blast.
Monday, July 26th, 2010
A very wise friend of mine once said that it was difficult to tell the difference between a writing conference and a support circle for Asperger Syndrome sufferers. I try to remember that when I go to conferences because, theoretically, it should help to know that everyone else is just as introverted and uncomfortable as I am.
Note that I say should.
To be honest, I don’t do the conference thing well. Like a lot of writers, I suffer from terrible Imposter Syndrome when I meet other people who practice my craft. It doesn’t matter that I have a full shelf over my desk with all my works on it, I still feel like the kid who’s snuck into the party and will be thrown out as soon as they figure out I don’t belong. This is why I started taking my knitting to conferences, it helped keep my relaxed. As an added bonus, it provided a safe neutral topic I could talk about without seeming nervous.
Writing is a solitary business – it’s a profession that is, for most of the year, carried out in semi-vacuum. It’s you, your beta readers, your editor, your agent and occasional forays into media-marketing. There’s not a lot of face time for most writers, even the ones who are lucky enough to have a local support group with whom they can share the trial and triumphs. The great majority of us are introverts, and the idea of being in a social situation leaves us uncomfortable. We get together anyway, and eventually we either build up our courage (or have a drink to settle our nerves) and we say hi to somebody. Because as much as it can be a rough road to walk alone, it’s also pretty cool to meet someone on the same road and be able to catch a few pointers, or warn them away from a few pitfalls. Some of my dearest friends are people who I met at writers’ conferences.
I say all of this because this week is RWA – that the National event for Romance Writers of America (of which I am a member). It’s a big deal, sells out early, and is generally awesome. Take all those things I just said about having issues at a regular conference, and triple them. Then add in the discomfort that this will be my first RWA, and you can imagine the sort of stomach churning terror I am dealing with.
Seriously. I eat Tums like they’re a fifth food group.
That said, I try to think of myself, despite all evidence to the contrary, as a friendly sort. So if you’re at RWA, and you see me (I’ll be knitting, probably a red-orange clapotis scarf, I haven’t decided yet), please come say hello. We can always talk about knitting.
Monday, May 10th, 2010
Just a quick update today to point out that “Hearts and Minds” is one of the featured excerpts this month during Coffee Time Romance & More’s awesome Spring Showers event. You can check it out here, and have a chance to win a gift certificate for My Bookstore & More!
Thursday, February 4th, 2010
Well, we did it. By we of course, I mean my wonderfully talented Web designers, and not me personally, but hey, ‘We’ works better. What did we do? We changed some things up around here – a little paint, a little polish, a great big engine with “Wordpress” stenciled on the side. All that kind of stuff. What’s it mean? Hopefully, it means more frequent updates from yours truly, since now I can input them directly. It also means I might finally get around to changing out my essay, but let’s not talk crazy just yet. After all, it’s February!
February means one thing in 2010 – Impulse Power, the trio of Romantic SF novellas from Samhain Publishing, finally comes out. That includes my own Hearts and Minds, which will be out in pretty much every electronic format on the 23rd.
On the topic of Impulse Power, those of you not with the SF Revolution who plan on waiting for a dead tree edition have a long wait – December, in fact. But, if you wait that long, you’ll find Impulse Power everywhere, with this snazzy new cover:
I’ve also received a bit of good news. My essay on the Music of Steampunk – Doctor Tsoundpounders Euterpean Soliloquizer – will be appearing in the March issue of Crossed Genres magazine. It’s a fun little piece in which I poke a few sacred cows, and I think it will be well received. Or there’ll be a mob outside the door. We’ll see.
Keeping up with Appearances:
The year is starting with a bang, or at least a couple of electronic appearances – on 16 Feb, you’ll be able to find me answering questions about Hearts and Minds in the Love Romances café , from 7 to 9pm. Stop by, ask questions, and have some fun.
I’ll also be a guest blogger on Samhain’s Author site, the Samhellion, on February 23rd. Not sure what clever and witty thing I’ll say yet, but I trust inspiration will strike before then.
As for the rest of the year – It’s a safe bet that in August, interested folks will be able to find me once again at GenCon. April will see me in Indianapolis for Mo*Con and the release party for Apex’s Dark Faith (Featuring my story “A Loss for Words”). And it’s looking increasingly likely that I will show up at either RWA’s national conference, or World Fantasy, or both. Watch this space for detail, there’s sure to be some soon.
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