This was harder than it should have been. Things he had taken for granted tired him. The weight of the world and the snow made even the act of walking a monumental task. When Danr first arrived, he had marveled at his unfamiliar surroundings. Seeing all of this from a distance was different from being here in the flesh. He had spent hours watching the snow fall. Now, as he neared his goal, he cursed the stuff.
DragonCon is known for a lot of things, including some very informative panels. It’s one of the few events where my love of travel and writing intersect. This year, I only made it to one panel but I did manage to talk to a lot of writers. I got a lot of advice this year, some good and some bad, especially when it came to the business of writing. Two pieces of advice stuck with me, both of which I had heard before.
The first was to write the type of stories that I want to read. This time I really thought about what I was being told. The speaker, whose name I forget, wasn’t a big name author but what he said made a lot of sense. He wasn’t just talking about genre but also things like tone, pacing, and length. That got me thinking about the stories I enjoyed the most. Some of the best stories I’ve read are lean and tight ones, that pull you into them from page one. They didn’t lack details but every description and event in them advanced the plot and developed the characters. Stephen King’s Running Man is a very tight, entertaining story that I enjoyed (and far different from the movie). Nine Princes in Amber is probably my favorite fantasy novel but it’s not very long by today’s standards but I would call it a far better read than any of Robert Jordan’s much longer Wheel of Time novels.
The second piece of advice was to not rush things. This is one of those things I need to constantly remind myself about. There’s a lot of temptation to cut corners and rush things. It makes following this advice extremely difficult. I want to publish my stories as soon as I finish them but I know they’re not ready. A little time listening to beta readers, editors, and your muse can turn a good story into a great one. Time spent working on a eye catching cover and description can help sell your book to those unfamiliar with your work. The problem with this advice is that it can delay and frustrate you. I missed several deadlines I set for myself but those delays helped me publish a better book or story. I’m hoping that’s the case with the three projects I have waiting to be published.
So why am I posting this? I wanted to share what I learned. I also wanted people to know where my head is at right now. Things are going to change with regards to how I do things. It’s all part of a process that I hope will improve my writing and career.
Okay, that’s all for now. It’s early and I need to get a couple of hours sleep before I tackle the day.
I just got done uploading a few pictures from this year’s DragonCon to Flickr.
I’ll be adding more pictures when I have time.
It’s been over a week since I got DragonCon. I was in such a rush to leave for my trip that I forgot to post here. It was a great time, as always.
This year, I arrived a week early to take in the sights and see my friends who live in Atlanta. I spent a night dancing in the Shelter and sampling the Atlanta night life. My days were spent writing and visiting my friends who had time to see me before DragonCon. The highlight of the days before the con was a trip to the Georgia Aquarium. A friend was good enough to give me and my family a behind the scenes tour. It’s one of those bits of magic that makes visiting the aquarium so much fun. I never realized how much work people need to do around the clock and the infrastructure needed to maintain such places. With all this, the staff still manages to keep all the animals happy and healthy. Yeah, I was impressed and I recommend a visit to the aquarium for anyone who visits Atlanta.
Once the con began, I had a very busy schedule. This year I brought my Phantom Stranger, Orion, Magneto, Luke Cage, and Nick Fury costumes. I was very happy with how the Phantom Stranger costume turned out but it was too hot to wear and I didn’t get any pictures. Also, I love my Orion costume and my new Luke Cage outfit. I got a lot of pictures dressed as both of those characters.
Between the various photo shoots, panels, and catching up with old acquaintances, I made a lot of new friends. One of the best things about the con was getting to meet two gaming buddies who used to play City of Heroes with me: Eddie and Fluffy. They’re both great guys. A lot of fun was had but my schedule and sleep habits put a limit on the amount of time we got to hang out. The Abbey Park concert at the con was a real blast. Finally, there were the panels on the writing track. Most had a lot of good advice and information.
The flight home turned into an adventure. In retrospect, I should have taken the airline’s offer to take a later flight and go home the next day. They were willing to pay for a hotel and offered a free round trip ticket but I was in a rush to get home. The two-hour trip ended up taking seven hours because of the weather and delays. Next time, I’ll take them up on the offer.
Over the weekend, I’ll post some of the pictures from the con on Flickr. Okay, that’s all for now. I need to get back to work. Have a good weekend.
Dozens have been corrupted by tainted water from the Well of the Damned, including King Gavin Kinshield’s beloved wife. He’s desperate to reverse the water’s effects and restore Feanna to the kind and compassionate woman he married.
And what of his helpless heir growing in her toxic womb? To save his unborn son, Gavin must find a solution before the darkness that’s overtaken Feanna also stamps out the tiny spark within her.
Help seems to appear in the unlikely form of the Guardians, two ghostly figures tethered to the crystal that lies deep within the wellspring. Can Gavin trust them… or will their own agenda take the lives of his wife and son–and bring on the utter destruction of the seven realms?
I’m still alive and kicking. The last couple of weeks have been very busy. I’ve been doing a lot of writing and getting stuff ready for editing. I can’t give a firm release date for the projects I’m working on. Even though I’m self-publishing, there are things that are out of my control. That said, I’m pretty much set to publish two of the projects I’ve been working on.
Crossroads is the last installment of the Incarnates series. The story will be included in The Incarnates: Lovers. Those who have already purchased the book will be able to download the new story free of charge. This story also features Count Albritton and Jennifer. It isn’t needed to follow the main Count Albritton series but it does make for a nice tie in story.
The Court of the Two Sisters is the next story in the Count Albritton series. It takes place just prior to The Hunger. After writing this story, I felt like it’s one of my best pieces of storytelling.
Amid the wonder and splendor of the Fae court, Count and Jennifer find themselves entangled in a web of intrigue where an old enemy waits to finish what he started years ago. With their lives and the destiny of the Fae at stake, Count must stop the machinations Prince Kalen and the Seven.
I can’t wait to publish this story. It’s one of those stories that I feel is truly worth the wait. I plan to publish both of these stories as soon as possible. Mid-September would be the earliest possible time I could release them.
This week and the next, I’m in the process of preparing for DragonCon. There’s a lot to get done before I leave, including updating the short story section of this site. This year I’ll be costuming as Orion, Phantom Stranger, Nick Fury, and Magneto. It’s going to be a real fun time.
Have a good week.
They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.
By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.