On Vacation

DragonCon is my must attend event. It has a lot of the things I love. I have the opportunity to meet some my favorite authors and artists. I get to wear some of my costumes and spend time with friends. There are panels and parties to attend as well as music cncerts. Since I started attending the convention, I haven’t missed a year.

This year, I arrived a week early to do some writing and spent time with friends. It’s been a lot f fun and very productive so far. I finished writing A Simple Request. The hard part will be deciphering my handwriting when I type it into my laptop later tonight. With that story out of the way, I went back to work on Skindancer and another story called The Dreamers. I also settled on a name for the next Count Albritton story. All of this means a lot of work for my beta readers and editor.

For those of you attending the convention, feel free to look me up. This year I’ll be in the following costumes: Phantom Stranger, Green Arrow, Orion, Flash Gordon, Misty Knight, and Blade. I’ll be sure to post pictures from the con.

Until next time, stay safe.



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Konrath’s Advice to Publishers

This weekend, i took a break from writing and packing for DragonCon to do a little reading. Check out Konrath’s Advice to Publishers. A lot of it is good advice and it makes for a good read.


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Progress Report

I think every writer has a story they want to tell that gives them trouble. It challenges them in some way. It’s a story that they can only tell when they’re ready. For me, that story is A Simple Request. Back when I first started writing, it was one of the three stories I tried to get published. The other two stories were The Gift of Fury and Fall from Grace.

After listening to David Drake and Robert Aspirin during a panel at DragonCon, I wanted to tell a different type of story. It was going to be a character driven piece that was as much about the choices they made and their repurcussions. I wanted the reader to put themselves in the shoes of the characters making those choices and wonder what they might have done in their place. It was a lofty goal, one I didn’t meet with the first incarnation of the story. The feedback I got from Baen’s Bar and the other places I submitted it to was less than encouraging so I put the story on hold.

A year later, I revised the story with the feedback I was given. The changes I made turned the story into something it was not. Too much of it was left open for the readers to fill in the blanks. It wasn’t a story, I could really stand behind. Again, I set it aside.

With the completion of Crossroads and The Court of the Two Sisters, I wanted to do something else before finishing up Skindancer and the next Count Albritton story, I dug out A Simple Request and took a long hard look at the story I had written. It was still a story I wanted to tell but I needed room and space to tell it. Since I’m no longer trying to submit short stories to magazine and contests, I decided to expand the story and flesh it out.

It’s been a little over two weeks since I started work on it. The story has been coming along nicely. I’m more focused on telling the story and not some lofty concept. I could go into detail about the characters and settings. The story is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. With any luck, I’ll have it done before I leave for Atlanta. While I’m there, I’ll have time to work on the next project before DragonCon begins.

Okay, that’s all for now. I’ll post some news and information later on this week.

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Saturday Rant

I think the problem with some people is that they lack a basic understanding of science and factors outside their own little world so they live in a constant state of denial. For example: Climate is not weather. Medications can have more than one use that includes birth control pills. Flu shots do not cause autism or mental retardation. Trickle down economics doesn’t work. And finally, reading one article about “whatever” doesn’t make you an expert on a topic. For all you know, the person writing said article might not know what they’re talking about.


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Author Spotlight: Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera series. I could extoll his virtues but you’re better off visiting his website at www.jim-butcher.com. It’s a good place to visit whether your a fan, a fellow author or like me, both. You’ll learn more about him and what he’s up to.

He has a LiveJournal Blog that hasn’t been updated in some time but there is a lot of entertaining and insightful stuff there. I learned a lot, reading some of his posts. The posts about Scenes and Sequels were very helpful. Ocassionally I go back to the blog and search through the posts when I need a little help.

On a more personal note, I met him at a convention. At the time, I didn’t know who he was. I remember saying something stupid. Despite that, he took time from his busy schedule to give me some advice that made a lot of sense. I came away from the encounter with the feeling that I could do this and a smaller more manageable ego.


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Why Amazon Terrifies Publishers

Check out Why Amazon Terrifies Publishers: Let’s Look at Royalties Statements over at Forbes magazine. George Anders gives a little insight into Amazon’s methods. He writes the following:

Amazon has a pretty clear-eyed view of what it will take to keep the book-reading habit alive in a new generation of consumers. As Amazon’s senior vice president for Kindle, Russell Grandinetti, recently told The New York Times, “Books don’t just compete against books. Books compete against Candy Crush, Twitter, Facebook, streaming movies, newspapers you can read for free. It’s a new world.”

It explains a lot of moves Amazon has made in the past. It might also offer clues as to what the future hold for readers, authors, and publishers. All in all, these are exciting times.


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Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited gives you the freedom to explore. Try new genres, discover new authors, and dive into new adventures with unlimited access to Amazon’s wide and varied selection of books. From rhetoric to romance, or comedy to tragedy, you will find unlimited stories waiting to be discovered. Relive the classics you grew up with, start on that best seller you’ve been wanting to read or try one of the hundreds of thousands of books you won’t find anywhere. Find your next great read today.

For more information and to sign up for a free thirty day trial, visit the Kindle Unlimited page at Amazon.

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