DragonCon 2015

This week, I’ll be attending DragonCon in Atlanta. Originally, I wasn’t planning on going. My last doctor’s appointment and MRI changed all that. He found a tear in my rotator cuff that required surgery. It’s not really a big deal but it would mean missing most of the conventions coming up this fall. With that in mind, I managed to put everything together in record time.

I’m really looking forward to the convention. Soon, I’ll be seeing a lot of my friends and enjoying myself. I’ll be careful not to overdo things or further injury my shoulder. I plan to take it easy though you wouldn’t think so by the number of costumes I am bringing to the convention. This year, my costumes include Phantom Stranger, Orion, Ocean Master, Krillin, Nick Fury, Luke Cage, and Balder. As for panels, I plan to make a couple of early morning ones and do a little networking.

When I get back, I’ll be sure to post some pictures from the con and share anything I might learn. I’m bringing an empty notebook so I can do a lot of writing on the flight down to Atlanta and the drive back. In the meantime, I’ll be posting on twitter and facebook.

Anyway, I hope everyone has as much fun as I plan to have this week. Take care and talk to everyone when I get back.

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It’s Okay to Start Over

Writing is one of those crafts that you can only learn by doing. Each day you put pen to paper, you learn something new about yourself and the craft. I find that there’s always something new to work on or improve. Writers are always striving to do better. In some cases, this was what motivated them to start writing in the first place. They read a book or an article and said to themselves, “I can do better.”

For the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling with a story. It wasn’t a simple case of writer’s block. The story was fighting me. I knew what I wanted to say and do but the words wouldn’t flow. The few words that made it to the page made me think, “I can do better. I have done better.”

I decided to put aside what I had written and start over. Some might disagree with this and that’s fine. There is no right or one way to write other than to do it. Wrestling with a story doesn’t work for me. When a story fights me, it’s either not ready to told or I’m not ready to tell it.

I don’t feel like I wasted the last few weeks. Sometimes you need a clean slate or a fresh start. Who knows, I might even be able to use what I have already written for another story or in another form. The only downside to all of this is not having any new stories to post this month. We’ll try to change that before I leave for Atlanta.

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A New Computer

I finally got a new laptop to replace my dying Alienware M14x laptop. As much as I liked my old laptop, I went through one too many keyboard replacements for my liking. I ended up purchasing an Acer Aspire V15 Nitro. It has the right combination of features that I need for those times when I’m actually working. So far, I’m very happy with my decision. I managed to tranfer all of my document and media files to the new computer. I even managed to find a few stories I thought I had lost or deleted.

Currently, I’m working on Skindancer, the last story in the Tech Noir series, and a followup story to the The Crown and the Ring. The Court of the Two Sisters is still on the backburner. I want to take a break from my Count Albritton series and come back to it with a clear head. I want the last three stories in the series to be the best so I’m taking my time with them. In the meantime, I’ll be posting some more flash fiction and short stories.

Finally, I have tentative plans to attend DragonCon and Hartford Comic Con in September. A lot will depend on what the doctor says about my shoulder when I go to see him next week. Hopefully, I’ll have some good news on that front. Anyway, that’s all for now.

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The New World of Publishing: The Real Price of Traditional Publishing

This article, by Dean Wesley Smith, makes for some interesting reading. It’s given me a lot to think about especially the part where he talks about the “Life of Copyright”.

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Flash Fiction: The Greater Good

The man in black was no worse for wear. The same could not be said for those who had stood against him. A young man dared to approach him, refusing to look at the dead or acknowledge the cries of the wounded lying in the street.

“That was a lot bloodier than I thought it would be,” he said. “I guess it was all for the greater good.”

The words were enough to make the man in black laugh. It was a cold hollow sound, bordering on madness.

“Don’t be stupid, kid,” he said. “There’s no such thing as the greater good. It’s a lie the weak tell themselves and others to justify their actions.”

“I don’t understand.”

“There’s always another way. It might be more difficult or take a little longer. The price might be higher. There could be more risk involved. Instead, I did what was best for me.”

Confusion gave way to anger. “And to hell with the everyone else?” the young man asked. “I thought you were a hero.”

“Heroes find another way.”

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Flash Fiction: Surrender

So many battles fought. Most of the time, they were for the right reasons. The rest, he doesn’t think about. He went into each one without fear or hesitation. This time, it’s different. His hands shake, making it harder to remove his armor and unbuckle his baldric. The sword falls to the carpeted floor and he kneels. All that’s left is to say are the words but they won’t come. As he struggles to give them voice, she silences him with a smile. “I know,” she says. “I’ve always known.”

With nothing left to say or do, the warrior finally surrenders.

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Flash Fiction: A Friend in Need

Donny was always in trouble. He dreamed big. Like his nose, those dreams were broken time and time again but his spirit remained intact. That was one of the things I liked about my friend. He always bounced back, calling it a minor setback. This time was different. He was in deep with the wrong people. They would make a very messy example of him. Donny deserved better than that. It took me fifteen minutes to get to his house. Three minutes later, his troubles were over. They’ll find his body in the morning.

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