Wishing everyone the best of the New Year!
Cheers and cyber-confetti,
Back from DragonCon. I had such a fabulous time I'm way to tired to write coherently about it, but I thought I'd post a few (a very few!) of the highlights as a teaser of things to come--as soon as I finish sorting the 570 photos I took. Until then, this will have to do:
- FINALLY getting to see a panel with James Marsters (with green hair, no less) and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones in Torchwood).
- Running into our very owndustbunnygirl directly afterwards.
- Hanging with friends like artist/writer Marianne Plumridge and her husband, artist Bob Eggleton,cymreiges , Teresa Patterson and my roomiekittysilhouette. Also ran into the old Press Room gang--Star, Leigh, Kelly, Dave & Phyl. (Randi couldn't make it, but I did talk to her and the new bambino.) I even metfledgist
- Dinner with Crissy Brashear (owner and publisher of Samhain Publishing), Jacob Hammer (Samhain's office manager), Alex Ross (Jacob's girlfriend) and writers Ally Blue and Rosemary Laurey/Georgia Evans and her husband George at Nikolai's on the Roof, the extraordinary restaurant on the top of the Hilton. The company was fabulous and the dinner... Well, let me put it this way, the meal started on plates with gilded images of Faberge eggs and ended with the presentation of a single red rose to all the ladies.
- The amazing historical and Steampunk costumes, and dressing up in my own less amazing Steampunk outfit (see Marianne's great picture of her husband, artist Bob Eggleton). At least the hat, the rose from Nikolai's, and all of Marianne's DragonCon pics were splendid. ;-)
- Sitting back-to-back with William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew and Leonard Nimoy at the DragonCon Awards Banquet. (BTW, they're actually serving meat now--the banquet, I mean, not the stars.)
- The Cruxshadows concert. (Duh!)
- Surviving a four-panel Sunday running from 10 a.m. (after the Cruxshadows concert--ow!) to 11 p.m., after the "sex panel": "Sex in SF/Fantasy--Too Much or Not Enough?"
- The Lost Boys concert at the Pirate Ball followed by costume watching at the Marriott Starbucks, which has replaced The Perk as the ultimate people-watching destination since the Hyatt has gotten pissy about photos in the lobby.
- Sitting next to Rogue on my last panel, "Under Raven's Wings: 200 Years of Poe", listening to three of his dramatic readings, including the awesome "Annabel Lee", and having him autograph this year's Cruxshadows single for Bree and me when the panel was done. And day-um, he smelled good. White musk, I think. (Made me wish I'd packed my favorite Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scents, but I've been afraid ever since my hand lotion triggered Barbara Hambly's allergies at World Fantasy Con.)
- Drinking 12-year-old Glenlivet single malt in the Green Room at the Hair of the Dog Party (i.e., the clearing of the Green Room after the Dead Dog Party). I didn't even know they had Glenlivet in the Green Room.
- Getting back home to Greg and the Duz. Gotta recover in time for next year, after all. ;-)
But that could take years. In the meantime, I need to get back to work on the siren story. Another beta reader weighed in tonight with some great comments--and I'm not just saying that because some of the things she mentioned in her cover lletter were things I'd been fratching over and rewriting over the last couple weeks. Now I just have to work up the courage to go past page one of her commentary.
I always take what my beta readers say to heart. It just takes me a while to nerve myself to read it. :D
Yeah, cowardly and cat-whupped. I so am a writer!
Hugs and headshakes,
I realize you're probably scratching your head, wondering what's weird about it. As far as most people know, everything I've ever written for publication made it into pixels or print. That's true, but for some of the most important ticks on my personal writing scorecard, it's not the whole story.
Take my first published article. When I was fourteen, my German teacher insisted I write a piece for a contest held by a national association of German students. It wasn't because she liked my writing. She didn't like my style or me. But she made submission a requirement for a passing grade.
I don't have a problem with that. Composition requirements are a language teacher's prerogative. What I do have a problem with is the results were posted before the end of the school year, and the teacher never shared with me or the class the fact I finaled and was published in the association journal. Instead, she told the class our submissions were so bad, none of us even rated a mention by name. I didn't find out the truth until the following year when another teacher in a school district half way across the country recognized my name and made the connection.
Tonight it happened again. I found my name attached to a publication I had no idea I was published in. This time, however, I know there was no malice involved. In fact, I'm tickled pink to be involved in the project.
The book is Lori Foster's The Write Ingredients: Recipes From Your Favorite Authors. It's part of her ongoing fundraising efforts in support of U.S. military personnel. As an Army brat and longtime Defense Department drone, I'm totally cool with that.
But I swear, I didn't know they'd accepted my recipe (my mother-in-law's famous Slovak apple pie recipe--unlike my mom, she was a great cook). I remember writing it up. It was during those dark days immediately following Teri's death. I was pushing myself hard on the little things, because a busy mind keeps grief at bay. But I don't remember signing the contract.
I could've. I was going through a rough patch. I could've easily zoned out on the paperwork, despite my normally vigilant inner Virgo.
Oh well, it's tax time. I needed to review the year's paperwork anyway.
And buy the book. ;-)
The change in plans didn't change my subject for tomorrow's Samhain blog, "Thirteen Things Final Line Edits (FLEs) Taught Me About Writing". All the names and situations have been changed to confuse the guilty. Which kind of pointless, because it's always the innocent who think I'm talking about them. Go figure.
Much more innocuous--not to mention tasty--is the Fantasy & Enchantment blog I posted earlier today. It includes the recipe for the world's best apple pie. At least, it was the world's best apple pie when Greg's mom made it. Results may vary, but even made by a mediocre cook like me, it tastes wonderful. :-)
Finally, I want to let everyone know hundakleptisisis running a contest in honor of his late wife (and my writing partner) Teri Smith. The details can be found here. I think the prizes would've tempted Teri. Well, she would've wanted the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab imps and one of hundakleptisis' beautiful handmade boxes. They're fine.
Cheers and smiles,
It ain't fair, Just a few days after his first novel, Cyberius III, was published in December 2005, he landed in the hospital. Fast forward eighteen months, his new novel, Poseidon VII, has been released by Samhain with a beautiful cover by Vanessa Hawthorne, (the thumbnail above doesn't do it justice) and guess what... (sigh) He's back in the hospital. Fortunately, it's a lot less serious than it was last time. Unfortunately, hundakleptisis will probably remain in captivity--er, a patient for at least a week. Which makes it kind of hard to share the book video and excerpts. Or it would, but I figure there's no reason why somebody else can't do the honors on his behalf.
First, for your viewing pleasure, here's a link to Poseidon VII's very first video (drumroll, please).
Second is a link to the book itself. The blurb is actually too modest. This is one of those SF romances that scorches the pixels. I should know. I was one of the first beta readers. And more important (to us genre geeks, anyway) the science and worldbuilding are really cool. You can get a taste of the worldbuilding in the Samhain excerpt. I'll see if I can't find something a little more combustible for the romance junkies too, but it may take me a while. You know I'll get distracted reading. :-)
RavenCon was a wonderful, wonderful con. Big thanks to Jana Oliver and Tee Morris for letting me play in their sandbox. Ditto for the con organizers who did such a superb job. RavenCon is turning into the little con that could, growing from 450 to over 700 attendees in just two years. Can't wait to see what they do next year.
It was such a great con I came home with the dreaded Con Crud, so a detailed report--complete with the infamous Strawberry Pic from the equally infamous "Shaken, Not Stirred--Sex in SF & Fantasy Films" panel will have to wait. But there's a teaser to be found on the Samhain Blog (it's my turn today), and as always there are some great articles on the Fantasy & Enchantment Blog. With regards to the F&E blog, though, start with the second one from the top. The April 25 writer is just showing off. ;)
Well, actually, it's Teri's and mine--for this year, at any rate. With Nine You Get Vanyr scored an Honorable Mention (#2) in the sf/fantasy book category of Love Romances Ebook Cafe's 2006 reader's poll. I've been grinning ever since I heard.
Samhain did well too. The Cafe's readers rated it as the year's best publisher, and Samhain author Bianca D'Arc scored two top prizes: Best ShapeShifter Book and Best Paranormal Author of 2006. WTG, Bianca!
I will now return you to your regularly scheduled Saturday programming. I need to go pet my precious. While I'm at it, I should probably pet my Preditor and Editor button before it starts feeling neglected. With Nine You Get Vanyr placed second in the sf/fantasy category there too. I guess the novel has become the Avis of 2006.
Well, I do plan on trying harder. ;-)
"I hate to say it, but she's got a point. We let the ebook authors promo their books with excerpts and stuff on their release date, why not the print authors?"
"Yeah, but that means turning Jean Marie loose again. Remember what she did the last time."
"C'mon, she can't pull something like that out of her ass every time. We'll give her a date a little back in the schedule. Lead off with folks who know the drill. They'll post excerpts and flog their contests. She'll be stuck."
I think they forgot I've got 165,000 words to choose excerpts from, not just the 120K that made it to the book. Mwahahahahaha!
So if you decide to follow the Promo Brick Road to today's Samhain blog you'll find some of the scenes that wound up on the cutting room floor. There's a little bit of Michael Ryan (the actor who plays Deryk and one of the biggest spears on the Vanyr wall), more on the inspiration for Jagger (Ruth Thompson has a lot to answer for, LOL) and even more of the madness that is Dragon*Con. And it closes with my favorite never-before seen morning-after scene.
As I mentined a few posts ago, Samhain Publishing has established a blog for its writers. Through no fault of the editor in charge, I snagged the Twelfth Night slot. I was thrilled. Twelfth Night was one of the first of the Bard's comedies I read as a wee lass. To escape doing the dishes, I used to hide out in the bathroom of our quarters, my dad's Army manual on Shakespeare across my knees. (Yes, Virginia, the Army used to have a manual containing the complete text of Shakespeare's greatest hits. It was a
Nah, way too soppy. Besides, who cares? Well, maybe somebody does, but not enough to justify reading 500-1000 words.
Then I got enchanted by "The Annotated Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter" blog that made the rounds on LJ earlier this week. Laughed so hard I spewed iced tea out of my nose. Agreed with every one of Chris's words and howled at his selected pics. As an opening salvo on a possible blog on good writers gone sloppy, I shared the link with a couple of lists. The subject looked like a real winner until a couple writers on one of the Samhain lists took extreme umbrage at the comments (not the blog, mind you, the comments!) posted after the blog. Found the "author bashing" offensive. Okay...unless I wanted to get into a rant on the difference between libel, slander and making free speech hay with the personal details LKH herself posts on her blog, that was out.
Fortunately, just as Rick and Ilsa always have Paris, I always have fan fiction. And that crossover I mentioned? It's in there.
Now that we've got the pimpage out of the way, am I the only person who thinks a Highlander anime movie signals the End of Days?
Hugs and shudders,
There can be only one--and he has to be Methos, because Methos has the best Kronos flashbacks.
Wishing everyone, myself included, a much better year than 2006. May you and your loved ones stay healthy, happy and read lots and lots of good books.
And blogs. *g* Don't forget to check out the Samhain blog, live every day except Sunday...and New Year's. LOL The schedule starts again on Tuesday. And on Friday, Twelfth Night (trumpet fanfare, please), yours truly will try to come up with something amusing.
While you're waiting, you can rev up with some of those good books I was talking about. Kate Johnson's "The Twelve Lies of Christmas" is already available for download at My Bookstore and More. On January 2, yaoi fans can revel in Soul of the Night by Ann Cain and Barbara Sheridan, and on January 16, Ann Vremont's luscious erotic historical novel Sacred Heart Diaries hits the electronic stands. Enjoy!
Finally flopping around on dry land after a total immersion weekend at DragonCon, my favorite summer camp for wayward adults. And there were a lot of us this year. *g*
First, I mailed out the imps to the wonderful readers who won the With Nine You Get Vanyr part of the Samhain Readers Appreciation Contest. Ladies, I'll write more off-list, but hopefully, you'll get your packages within the next two weeks. (Yep, Mahaira, that's what our post office said. Whether I believe the nice, optimistic clerk is another matter.)