Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
I hope I’ll be seeing you at Balticon this weekend!
I drew the short stick when it comes to panels, but I’ll be at several events over the weekend:
Saturday – 2:00 PM Autographing!
The Gimungous Autograph Session
Signing my name, along with: Diana Bastine, Walt Boyes, Alessia Brio, Val Griswold-Ford, Tom Doyle, Scott Edelman, Phil Giunta, Kelly Harmon, Starla Huchton, Mur Lafferty, Grig Larson, Chris Lester, Gail Z. Martin, Mark MacDicken, Christine Norris, Ada Palmer, TJ Perkins, Jennifer R. Povey, Izolda Trakhtenberg, Linda Swann, Lawrence Watt-Evans, S. L. Wideman, Robyn Wyrick (Room: Kent)
Saturday – 5:00 PM – Reading!
Readings with Paul Ellis, Kelly A. Harmon, Emily Leverett, Izolda Trakhtenberg (Room: Parlor 8029)
Sunday – 3:30 PM – More Reading!
Readings with: Broad Universe Members: Randdee Dawn (M), Gail Z. Martin, Jean Marie Ward, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Kelly A. Harmon, Jody Lynn Nye, Vonnie Winslow Crist (Room: Pride of Baltimore)
Sunday – 3:30 PM – Party!
Gaslight and Grimm Launch Party!
If you do nothing else this weekend, join us at this launch party! There will be AWESOME food, entertainment, readings, a lottery and more! (Room: MD Salon B)
When I’m not autographing or reading, I’ll probably be in the Dealer’s Room at the Broad Universe Table. Please stop by and say hello!
Friday, December 5th, 2014
If you have any holiday shopping to do, why don’t you join me in downtown Bel Air, MD tomorrow from 10 until 3?
I’ll be at the Bel Air Armory for an Authors and Artists event where we’ll be showcasing our art and selling it.
There will be live entertainment all day–and food! (If for nothing else, come for the food!)
I’d love to see all my old school buddies. If you’re around, please stop in and say, “hello!”
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Nerd Girl Official Logo
Nerd Girl Official is hosting me today for an indie author talk.
Here’s the link if you want to check it out: linky.
(You should really check it out…there’s a COVER REVEAL for Book 2 of the Charm City Darkness Series!)
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
I’ll be in Timonium, MD Thanksgiving Weekend for the last-ever Darkover Convention.
I don’t expect to have a table, but I’ll be carrying paperback copies of my novel and short stories from my publisher for you to touch and feel (or buy). 🙂
Here’s my schedule:
4:00 – 5:00PM: Military SF – Why Should You Read It? – What does Military SF contribute to the SF genre? Is its contribution more than merely entertainment value? Are there stories or themes that Military SF tells better than other SF sub-genres? Discussion should include examples and recommendations.
7:00 – 8:00PM: “Show, don’t tell!” – This is an age-old piece of advice from writers. What the heck does it mean? Is it important for writers (including screenwriters and playwrights) to understand this advice? If so, why?
10:00 – 11:00am: Katherine Kurtz: The Deryni Effect – When Ballantine began its Adult Fantasy line, Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni Rising was their first title by a modern Fantasy author. Authors and fans discuss why they think the Deryni series has been so popular and received such widespread acclaim.
12:00 – 1:00PM: Jaelle’s Memorial – Held in Atrium (Just Attending)
4:00 – 5:00PM: Autograph Session
5:00 PM – Broad Universe Reading with Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Margaret Carter, Meriah Crawford, Elektra Hammond, Erika Satifka, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Leona Wisoker, and Sarah Pinsker.
6:00 – 7:00PM: The “Woman with a Sword” Phenomenon – Take your pick: from Robert E. Howard’s “Red Sonya” (a 16th Century Russian warrior-woman) to Marvel’s “Red Sonja” (a swordswoman of the Hyborian Age); from C.L. Moore’s “Jirel of Joiry” (a wandering Fantasy swordswoman) to J.A. Pitts’s “Sara Beauhall” (a Urban Fantasy lesbian blacksmith) and Revolution’s “Charlie Matheson”. And it seems that dozens of new book covers feature pictures of sword-wielding, leather-clad women. Why the attraction? Is “the woman with a sword” motif a guaranteed “winning combination” for a writer or an artist?
12:00 – 1:00PM: Short Stories vs. Novels: Does Size Matter? -How does “word count” affect the writer’s craft? Writers discuss different strategies and goals when writing short vs. long fiction. Pinsker(M), Ackley-McPhail, Crist, Harmon, Sonnier.
I hope to see you there! Please drop by and say hello if you’re around.
The Con Needs Volunteers!
If you can help out, see this Darkover Volunteer Page. Every hour you volunteer, can earn you a dollar off the admission to next year’s First Annual Chessiecon.
Friday, May 25th, 2012
I have my preliminary Balticon Schedule…yay! The Con God’s were clairvoyant when they scheduled me lightly this year, knowing in advance that my foot injury would flare. So, lucky, lucky me: I’m only on three panels.
The cool thing is: I’ll be at the Con all four days, thanks to other commitments, so I’ll be around (either at the Broad Universe Information Table or in the Con Suite if you want to come hang out) pretty much from dawn to dusk every day.
And I’ll have books if anyone wants to purchase and not pay shipping fees. Yay!
Here’s my schedule:
5:00 p.m. – Swords & Sorcery – Salon B (50 minutes)
How Has It Evolved, panelists contrast New Swords & Sorcery to that of earlier decades.
9:00 a.m. – The Back Story – Salon B
The experiences authors had that inspired them to write the novels they wrote.
9:00 a.m. – Readings by Brand Gamblin, Mur Lafferty and Me. – The Chase Room
1:00 p.m. Broad Universe Reading – Salon B
Includes Readings by: Jean Marie Ward; Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roxanne Bland, Emilie P. Bush, Elaine Corvidae, J. R. Blackwell, Trish J. Wooldridge, T.J. Perkins, S. J. Tucker, and me! Six-minute readings Rapid Fire readings from some amazing women/authors.
5:00 p.m. – Publishing Nightmares – Pimlico Room
Self explanatory! I’m moderating this one…
8:00 p.m. – Teen Writers Collaboration – Parlor 1041
Teens put their heads together to write a fantasy short story.
Stop by and say ‘hello!’ if you’re around.
Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
I’m a little late posting this, but things (as usual) have been a bit crazy around here.
I just wanted to mention to folks that if you get the opportunity to attend the Darkover convention in Timonium, MD…you really should.
I had a FABULOUS (!) time this past weekend. I met lots of really nice people (had some great conversations), shopped carefully at the dealer’s location (only had one book #fail – w00t!) and sat in on some fascinating panels.
I was also a speaker on two very different panels:
- Do Fantasy Writers Need Cats? – I believe I was the only dissenting voice on the panel – who wants cat hair in his keyboard? But it was loads of fun with lots of storytelling about pets past and present from all of us.
- Magic and Religion in Fantasy. How do you use them in your writing but keep it believable?
The second panel was a thrilling experience for me, on so many levels… First: because I use both magic and religion in my stories, I felt I had a lot to contribute to the panel. I think I spoke intelligently. Second: there were lots of attentive faces in the audience. People seemed genuinely interested in the topic. And finally: two of my favorite authors were on the panel, too…C.S. Friedman and Katherine Kurtz.
I’m happy to report that I conducted myself professionally…even though I was going all fangirl on the inside.
The dealers were various, and I was sorely tempted buy a lot of nifty stuff. I did some salivating over some beautiful glass knitting needles at one table and a stocking full of gaming dice at another.
The needles were pretty, and apparently sturdy, but I do take my knitting everywhere now it seems…so having glass needles, no matter how hearty, seems like folly.
And the dice, well… can you ever have too many dice? Um….yeah. Although, had there been single sets, I probably could have been persuaded to part with some cash.
There was also leather, lots of leather, which I admired from afar. I knew if I got within smelling distance of any of those lovely items — especially the wearables — I’d be taking something home. Alas.
All in all… a very good time.
If you attended my session on how to get pub’ed and you want my full notes from the seminar, please drop me a line and I’ll send you my PowerPoint presentation as a PDF. I’ll be happy to share. (There is lots of stuff there we didn’t have time to cover.) Also: if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask…send me a note or hit me up on Twitter.
Saturday, November 27th, 2010
I’ve spent the last two days at Darkover in Timonium, MD and I’m having a blast. I’ve made lots of new friends and had some terrific conversations.
(It makes me realize even more that there is *never* enough time. What I wouldn’t give for a little space-time anomaly to give myself a few extra days to socialize.)
This is my first year at Darkover, and I vow I’ll be back. I wish I’d known of it sooner.
So, why do I want to talk about rejection?
Yesterday I presented my “How to Submit Short Fiction for Publication” seminar during the convention. I was prepared with handouts and book props, knowing that I wouldn’t have the projector screen and access to the internet I usually do for demos.
I talked briefly about where to find markets and encouraged folks to look at submission guidelines when sending in work, and then I asked attendees if they had questions. I wanted to make sure that I answered all the questions people had, rather than stick with my prescribed script in the short time allotted.
But that meant we didn’t cover some items from my presentation in depth…one of which is rejection.
And I believe that if you talk about submitting work for publication, you should also talk about rejection. The two go hand-in-hand.
So, for those who attended yesterday (Thank you for coming!) here’s my take on rejection…just some things to keep in mind.
If you submit work to be published, you will be rejected. The first few rejections sting, especially when an editor points out a perceived flaw in the work.
The trick is not to take it personally. There are a lot of factors that play into rejection besides the quality of the work:
- The editor was looking for something specific
- Your story didn’t meet the editor’s criteria (and keep in mind: beyond the guidelines, you didn’t even know what those criteria were!)
- The editor recently accepted a similar story for publication
- The editor had too many “same genre” stories on hand already (for example: Fantasy and Science fiction is chock full of fantasy, but not enough science fiction submissions this month–and you just sent them another fantasy)
Two more reasons not to take it personally:
- The editor’s not rejecting you – he doesn’t even know you.
- It happens to everyone…here are some famous examples of rejection:
- Carrie by Steven King: rejected 30 times
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – rejected 26 times
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig – rejected 121 times!
Sometimes there’s a silver lining to receiving a rejection: you’ll receive comments from the editor stating why he rejected the piece. Be joyful! Comments from editors are rare. The fact that an editor took the time to jot down a few sentences about your work means the writing is good. Evaluate whether the comments jive with your vision of the story. If they do, make the changes and send the story back out. If they don’t, send the story as-is to your next market of choice.
If you receive a standard, “form” rejection, send it out immediately to the next market on your list.
Keep writing. A day of writing prose is better than not writing at all. And keep submitting your work. Persistence pays off. Continuing to send a story out should eventually result in publication.
What should you do with your rejections? Some people burn them, other file them, Steven King pounded a nail into a wall and hung his rejections on it until the weight of them pulled it down.
I get more electronic rejections than paper these days, so the nail trick isn’t an option (without effort) so I log them into a spreadsheet. After the first 100 rejections, I bought my critique group a round of coffee (we meet at the local donut shop) and again for each 50 rejections thereafter. Getting a rejection still isn’t easy, or fun…but looking forward to coffee with my friends isn’t such a bad thing.
Thursday, November 25th, 2010
I hope everyone (including those not celebrating) has a terrific day.
I plan to eat, socialize with family I haven’t seen in a while, take some photos, knit and talk genealogy. No writing. I just decided that. Today, I’m having a day off.
Tomorrow I’ll write and finish prepping for Darkover.
If you’re going to Darkover, drop me a line. I’d love to meet you.
Stay warm! It turned really cold here yesterday, finally moving the weather toward winter. This morning it’s raining. (And I’m thankful we’re not getting the sleet the weather people called for. I’ll be on the road with all the other crazies. We don’t need the chance of an accident when there’s all that turkey to consume!)
Saturday, October 30th, 2010
Tea With The Authors
Today at 3:00pm
Constellation Books 303 Main Street, Reisterstown, Maryland
Please join me and authors Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Marie Ward, Vonnie Winslow Crist, and Robert E Waters at Constellation Books, Reisterstown, MD for tea, cookies, and readings/signings from their various stories from anthologies Bad-Ass Fairies 3, Dragon’s Lure, Barbarian’s at the Jumpgate, etc. (I might even read from Blood Soup, keeping with the holiday atmosphere…)
Come to this pre-Halloween event and bring your friends, ghouls, witches, warlocks, etc.
Read the Constellation Books announcement.
Jean Marie Ward
Vonnie Winslow Crist
Robert E. Waters