A Word of Thanks

Today I’m dwelling on the positive. Five years ago, I decided to self publish a novel I was tired of submitting to agents and publishers. It was the first book I did on my own. I wasn’t writing with someone or using source material from a game company. I had no ideas for a cover. I was pretty clueless when it came to photoshop and gimp. Panda Luna Valentine came to my rescue. Without asking for anything in return, she gave me a starting point for a cover and a few tips that have helped me to this day. I may not be a best selling or award winning author yet but I do owe some of my success to her. Thanks.
Some of Panda’s artwork can be found at Sex and Geekery. You can also see her and some of my other friends in costuming as their favorite characters over at Wicked Geeky.

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Post DragonCon

It’s been a week since I got back from DragonCon and I’ve had some time to process things. Prior to the start of the con, I got a lot of writing done and had a few minor adventures. I have another story ready for editing and another nearing completion.

As for the con itself, I had a very fun time. It would have been perfect if it weren’t for the heat and crowds. I got to see and hang out with a lot of my friends. Most of the time, I wandered the con in costume. This year I costumed as Ocean Master, Misty Knight, Phantom Stranger, Nick Fury, and Flash Gordon. The rest of the time was split between friends, parties, and the few panels I attended. Grace, over at Bodhi Tree Photography, invited me to a private photo shoot and took some awesome pictures of my Phantom Stranger costume. The highlight of the weekend was seeing Anaria perform live on Sunday night.

This year, I didn’t take any pictures but my friends did. I’ll be posting some of them later this week after I finish catching up on things. Till next time, stay safe.

 

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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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