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, May 2nd, 2014
I can finally reveal the cover of my new book, “Stoned in Charm City!”
This is the first book in a series called “Charm City Darkness,” and will be available just in time for Memorial Day. (Anyone going to the beach?)
The story is urban fantasy, and takes place in Baltimore City, hence the name of the series: Charm City Darkness. If you take a close look at the cover, you just might recognize the Inner Harbor in the background. I think the cover artist did a fabulous job.
I got a proof from the printer on Thursday and I think it looks just fabulous. Please let me know what you think!
(This means I’ll have paperback copies for Balticon, too. Who’s going to be there this year?)
Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:
Forty dollars. Two crisp twenties. All that stands between Assumpta Mary Margaret O’Connor and homelessness.
For the price of forty dollars, she helps archeologist Greg LaSpina find something he’s lost–and causes all Hell to break loose.
With demons tormenting their every step, Assumpta and Greg become both hunted and hunter in their search for a way to send the demons back to Hell. One careless mistake could cost them their lives.
Wrestling with her faith, Assumpta considers an offer made by one very sexy demon: sleep with him, and learn how to rid the world of the escaped evil.
But the offer comes with a steep price: her immortal soul.
I hope the blurb sounds exciting!
Any reviewers out there? I should have the digital copies in a week or so and will be happy to send you a digital copy for review.
Friday, May 31st, 2013
I attended Balticon this past weekend. (Had a terrific time, as usual.)
Balticon takes place at a hotel in Hunt Valley, Maryland and gets booked solid by the time the event rolls around. On the opening day, the hotel entrance is over-crowded by folks who come from all around loaded for bear with all the things they can’t live without for four days.
It’s amazing to see what folks travel with, and how they travel: like the eight folks that traveled together down from New York in a single car, but got separate rooms because they needed the space.
Then there’s the dichotomy of those who will travel as light as possible, forgoing even a change of clothes (I hope they brought their toothbrush!) so they’ll have room in the car for all the treasures they’ll take home; and those who travel with trunks filled with costuming gear, and you’ll see changed several times a day.
I’ve seen folks come in with several coolers and (little red) wagons loaded with food so they never have to leave the hotel in search of a less-expensive meal. (And NOT at Balticon, I’ve seen these same folks pull their wagons and coolers up to a gaming table so they can play all night without having to leave their chair!)
Here’s Your Prompt:
Photo Copyright: © Clarita | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Friday, May 24th, 2013
I’m heading over to Balticon later on today, and it’s been a frenetic week preparing. Not because I’ve got such a large schedule — I deliberately don’t have much of one at all this year — but because life just got in the way.
I’m sure there’s a blog post/writing prompt for “life getting in the way” but that seemed kind of vague to me this morning. Watch for it later, I’m certain.
So, today’s prompts are rather random. Just some ideas I’ve been playing with that haven’t gone together for one huge post…and they all start with the photo.
Your options: choose the photo for the prompt, one or some of the prompts, or all of them (that might prove interesting!) and write away.
The Random Prompts
- A woman on her honeymoon is shocked to learn a major secret from her husband’s past.
- “Uncle John, I don’t like this.”
- I loved her with all my heart – but every day she became more of a leech.
- While driving to work one day, you decide to drive by the office, and just keep going.
- A woman on her honeymoon is shocked to learn a major secret from her husband’s past.
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
I have a new story for sale! Yay!
Sky Lit Bargains was first published in the anthology Hellebore and Rue, and now it’s available as a single.
It’s also available in paperback!
The paperback copy is only available in the CreateSpace store right now, but it should arrive at Amazon.com shortly. It’s listed on the sight, but not available for purchase yet. When the buy button shows up, I’ll post here. (Same goes for B&N.)
If you want a shiny signed copy, I’ll be at Balticon this weekend. Just drop by the BroadUniverse table where I’ll be spending most of my time. I opted not to be on any panels this year — I wanted a relaxing weekend. You should be able to catch me at the table at almost any time of day.
More of my stories will be released in paperback soon, starting with Blood Soup. If you’ve got a favorite you’d like to see after that, drop me a line.
Here are the buy links for Sky Lit Bargains:
Sky Lit Bargains – Kindle
Sky Lit Bargains- Paperback via CreateSpace
Sky Lit Bargains – Nook
Very shortly it should be available at Kobo and iTunes. I’ll keep you posted.
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
I had a wonderful time at Balticon this year, as usual. I pulled in late yesterday and could barely keep my eyes open. Long nights (at late panels) and early mornings (on early panels!) conspired against me.
I made some new friends, and re-connected with others. That’s always the best part. A con is like one great, big multi-day party.
I finally got to meet Melissa of the My World…in words and pages blog. If you love to read, you should check it out. Her site is LOADED with information, reviews, links to books, interviews, etc. (Melissa’s on Twitter and Facebook, too.) Wish we could have spent more time together chatting.
D. H. Aire dropped by the Broad Universe table while I was there, and we talked about lots and lots of stuff — too much to mention. I need to pick up a copy of his Highmage’s Plight. (It sounds fascinating!) And, if you want, you can become a character in Aire’s book and take on a role in the Highmage’s Plight at the Web site. D. H. Aire is on Twitter and Facebook, too.
Much of my time was spent at the Broad Universe table in Artist Alley, which happened to be across the hallway from the artist, Robert Quill. (A nom de guerre? I’m thinking, yes.)
Artiste Quill sold sketches and prints from his naughty and nice notebooks and commissioned one-of-a-kind artworks of con attendees, soliciting them with such enticements as, “I can draw you as your beautiful self…without your pants.”
I paraphrased the first part there, but not the second.
The pitch sounds so much better coming out of his mouth, with its tiny hint of (faux) accent, and accompanied by the quirk of an eyebrow. And “for only hundreds more” (another of his catch phrases) you could have your sketch colorized and matted. He really knows how to work it (as evidenced by the many teeny-boppers who flocked –and remained — at his booth).
Showmanship aside, he does terrific work. I especially loved his Medusa, a striking piece inspired by his leggy, gorgeous wife.
Fellow Broad and steampunk author Emilie P. Bush also had a table in Artist’s Alley. Steamduck, illustrated by artist Kevin Petty, turned out to be pretty popular. Steamduck is part of the one and only steampunk children’s book out there. You should check it out.
There were book launches and knitting and the Steampunk Ball and so much more to talk about! I’m sure it will wind up in later posts.
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.
Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Once again, I spent more time discussing writing “stuff” with friends and fellow writers, rather than attending any of the panels. (Does anyone actually attend panels when they go to a con?)
This morning, I zoomed through the dealer’s room and bought a very cool (read: geeky) pair of earrings. Check out their awesomeness:
They only way these could be better is if I could rip them off my ears and roll them when I needed to.
(Tomorrow, I plan to zoom through again, and hope nothing else shiny catches my eye. I’m a sucker for shiny…especially if it’s shiny and geeky.)
Late this afternoon was my class on “Submitting Short Fiction for Publication.” I spent quite a few hours making sure all the html links in the PowerPoint were still active and opening them all on the screen so I’d be prepared to demonstrate.
I need a projector and screen so that I can show several market possibilities as well as demonstrate some online database searches for the attendees. I told the Balticon coordinators months ago when they accepted my proposal for the con that I required a projector. And this morning, I double-checked with Balticon staff to make certain everything was in order.
(You can see where this is going, can’t you?)
“Oh, yes…” the staffer said to me. “That’s why you were booked in the Belmont room. There’s a 32-inch TV in there.”
Not exactly what I wanted, but it would have done the job.
Needless to say, when I got there…there was no 32-inch TV. In fact, there was no TV at all. Just a lovely banquet table and chairs. One attendee suggested I race to the con operations staff and see if they could fix the situation. So, I high-tailed it over to the help desk, and was basically told, “Too bad.”
(What’s funny about this [not really] is that I presented this seminar in February at the Frederick County Library system, and they booked me in a room without a projector, too. It’s starting to feel like this talk is doomed.)
The silver lining is that people came, and they stayed…even though there were no visuals. In fact, every chair at the table was full…and at least one person camped on the floor to stay for the duration. They had questions, and I had answers…and several people stayed through to the bitter end…for two hours. So the answer to my question above is…yes, people do attend the panels.
And these folks tonight were terrific. I had a lovely time meeting people and chatting with those I’ve met before. (To everyone who attended my session: thank you for staying! If you think of any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I promise to post the pdf soon!)
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
But enough about the con. Let’s talk about the hotel… Remember I’m in the handicapped room, right? I really don’t know how they justify this journey…
This is what you see when you get off the elevator. (I take no responsibility for the relentlessly horrible color scheme. This place really needs some updating.)
See the hallway on the left?” You have to walk though that wing to get to my room.
This is an up close and personal view of that hallway. It’s loooooong.
And before you get to my room, you have to take this little dog-leg turn. First turning right, and then as this picture shows, turning left…past the ice machine.
And then you have to travel down this hallway. (They’re all starting to look the same, eh? but note the air conditioning unit on the left in this photo. It is a different picture.) My room is the second from the last on the right.
Friday, May 28th, 2010
It’s nearly midnight and I’m finally able to sit down and write a few words about what’s been going on.
Things got hopping in the late afternoon, but really kicked off around 8 p.m. with the Opening Ceremonies. I ignored them in order to chat up some writer friends and spent much time in the company of fellow MWA writer, Carl Rauscher.
(Take a gander at his (as yet unpublished) novel Reboot. It took second place in the 2010 Writing Contest, which is a crime, because it really is fabulous. He should have gotten first. You can read some of Reboot here.)
At 10 p.m., the Broad Universe panel was fairly well attended and included reads from Roxanne Bland, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Elaine Corvidae, Heather Kantz, Gail Martin, Roberta Rogow, Jean Marie Ward and myself.
I read from Blood Soup.
Afterward, I’d planned to do some editing on my WIP, but I’ve been too busy making friends and chatting about writing, blogging and knitting. (Yes, knitting…don’t you? I’m working on a lovely little table doily with the pattern name of “skulls and crossbones.” I’m omitting the crossbones…because I want to.)
I’ve nothing planned for the early morning, but I’m contemplating getting up at 4:20 a.m. to catch the 4:30 showing of “Blood and Chocolate” in the video salon. The plot sounds a little weak, but I love the title. What would you do?
I have to rise at a fairly decent hour anyway in order to catch breakfast in the hotel. Thanks to a room mix-up, I’ve been comped four breakfast passes… I could use one each morning, but why do that when I could have a party? Are you free tomorrow?
(Also due to the room mix-up, I’m in a handicapped room: lots of things are low to the ground and the door has two peepholes…one for if you’re standing, and one for sitting…which seems pointless to me, since gazing through it only reveals the size your visitor’s belt buckle. They really need to angle that one up.)
My schedule is light tomorrow: In the late afternoon I’m teaching a seminar on how to submit short fiction for publication. So, maybe I’ll get some of that editing done.
More tomorrow, and perhaps…photos.
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
I’m trying to tie up some loose ends and get organized before leaving for Balticon on Friday. I’m participating in two readings, and I’ll be teaching a seminar on Saturday on How to Sell Short Fiction. I’m very excited.
One thing I’m doing is going through all the unfinished manuscripts on my desk. I want to take some with me to the hotel. Even though I’ll be busy, I’m certain to have some downtime to work on a few things. The question is, what should I take? Without wading through all the garbage here (the physical and the electronic), and tidying up a little, I don’t have a clue.
It’s a little like cleaning up before going on vacation. Are you familiar with the concept?
When I was growing up, my Mom made us clean the house top to bottom before we went on vacation. I hated doing that. (Hi, Mom! You knew that already, right?) It wasn’t the cleaning that I objected to, it was the time lost that I could be doing something else, like writing, or reading, or well, just about anything other than cleaning, that I really hated giving up.
But I have to admit, my Mom had it right. There was nothing better than coming home to a clean house when you arrive exhausted from vacation.
So that’s what I’m doing now, cleaning off the desk, filing away some papers, shoving various versions of WIPs into folders and putting them away (or into my rolly bag to go with me to the con). I’m also tackling that thumbdrive with three hundred files, all on the root.
I’m looking forward to the convention, but I’m also looking forward to coming home to a clean desk, my mind all juiced by nearly four days of sci-fi and fantasy fun. With a little luck, I’ll know just what to do — and have all that “convention high” enegy — to finish the WIPs and start something new.