Mind Sieve 2/7/11

Got stuck at home almost all of last week due to unheard of amounts of snow and ice in Dallas! Just when the ice was going away, icy snow took it’s place. It’s been INSANE! (Probably because two north football teams were playing in the Superbowl here. They brought it with them! *gasp* At least they felt at home?)

So this let me try to catch up some on writer matters a little, so this week’s showing will hopefully be better than last week’s. 😛

Contests

Shared by @yabookscentral – Win your Dream Gown – ($300 gift card) open for 13+ and is international!

Shared by @LucienneDiver – Win a Kindle or Nook for Valentine’s.

From @DeidreKnight – Win an iPOD Nano from On The Hunt

Conventions/Conferences

From @DFWConDFW Writer’s Conference – why and how it came to be!

Fan Fun

Shared by @crispintreemanGigantor as a prop to sell wireless laptop connections. So COOL!

Games

Shared by @NAME3rd Birthday – new game for Parasite Eve has Agent Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) doing some of the voices. YES!

Podcasts

Shared by ME! – New Broad Universe podcast – topic is Faith and Fear (readings and more)

Several of my friends are also doing podcasts. I’ve linked to WanderRadio before, and this time out I figured I’d point you in the direction of two more. Melanie and Jerry are both funny, very likable people, and nutty, too! heh heh (There are NOT safe for work and can get explicit! You’ve been warned.) The first podcast center is called ““Don’t Quit Your Day Job“. Currently up is Episode 127 – where Melanie lisps through her Invisaligns, Patrick discusses his past in the porn industry, Jerry explains MediaFly to us all, and Stacy…well, Cthulhu knows where she is. (I was told the podcasts are really supposed to be about writing but.. lol)EXPLICIT CONTENT WARNING

The second one is called “Slow Death in the Afternoon” and Episode 5 is up for consumption. Their tag line is “Join Dan and Jerry as they follow the Absinthe Muse into places they shouldn’t really go. Ever.” He tells me it is a niche market for absinthe enthusiasts. (Who knew?) EXPLICIT CONTENT WARNING

Though I have “In the Service of Samurai” serialized as a podcast over at Podiobooks.com, I personally haven’t jumped into the wagon yet. One of these days I will be able clone myself and enjoy and do so much more than I can now. Right? RIGHT?! lol

Science

Shared by @emoontx – The search for Earth 2.0

Writing Advice

From MorganMandel – Throw Editing questions at Editors on Mondays

From @ChuckWendig – What makes a good story?

From @ChuckWendigSelf-publishing reality check!

Shared by Kathy SullivanMoney flow for Traditional and Indie Pubs

From Kathy SullivanLibraries and Research

That’s it for last week. Enjoy!

MInd Sieve 1/31/11

Life has hellish this week so not as much time to sift through links to pull out the good stuff. Hopefully will do better next week! (Wish me luck!)

Contests/Giveaways

Shared by @ColleenLindsayWin a full edit from Del Rey/Spectra, maybe even get published! (Ooo sweet!)

Conventions

Shared by @ColleenLindsayComic Con Registration opens Feb 5th!

Health

From @KristenLambTXGluten – the evil assasin! (I am thinking I suffer from this. And maybe my daughter!)

Science

From @NASA – NASA has aSolar Sail currently working out in low orbit. This could be super cool!

Writing Advice

From @GloriaOliver – Let’s Talk Dialect. My guest post over at Obscure YA Authors.

Shared by @KristenLambTX – Part Book ad but also has lots of TRUTHs about writing.

Shared by @inkyelbows – How do you know if your writing is improving? Some helpful tips.

From @inkyelbowsHow to read like a writer. Why reading can prove so good for you.

From @NathanBransford – How to use Twitter.

From @CandaceHavens – There’s always more to learn as a writer. Continuing your author education.

Shared by @inkyelbowsCritique Groups – be informed – what to look for!

From @ChuckWendigWriter Reality Check from HELL! (You do have to REALLY want it, guys.) 😛

From @gailcarriger – What is Steampunk. Nice explanation and tons of sources where you can see it in movies, books, and more!

Have an awesome week! And happy reading!

Mind Sieve 1/24/11

Got a bunch of good stuff this past week. Even several contests!
So let’s get started!

Contests/Giveaways

Shared by @DelReySpectraFree Book contest from Ari Marmel

Shared by @torbooksSteampunk Adventures is holding a writing contest. Submissions due March 1st.

Shared by @DeidreKnight – Chance to win $100 gift card. Share what’s the riskiest thing you’ve done for love and win! (Not sure on when this expires! Doh!)

From @yabookscentralManga Giveaway at YA Books Central. One is even a How To!

Conventions

Shared by @tweetheart4711Mini A-kon in Feb! Denton, TX!

Fan Fun

Shared by @jimsissyColleen has been doing chemo and lost all her hair. She decided to have a contest for people to photoshop hair for her. Some of these were awesome. (Didn’t see them on her blog. Hopefully she didn’t just post them to twitter…Bah humbug…)

Shared by @ChuckWendigPandemic article at Wired. Multi media experiment at Sundance and beyond!

Games

From @ChuckWendigChuck’s first days playing Minecraft – if you’ve ever played, this post is even funnier. Heh heh (Poor Chuck) Fun game, simple, but addicting in its weirdness 😛 (Do not be drinking when you read this. It will come out your nose! You’ve been warned! Heh heh)

Podcasts

From @WNDRWolfPodcast Round Table Discussion with Odin1eye and Richard Green

Shared by @GloriaOliverBroadPod – BroadUniverse January podcast with readings by author members

Science

Shared by @MichaelPata – The first Mammoth cloning experiment is officially underway – Cool!

Shared by @mattstaggs34,000 year old bacteria found ALIVE! And Kicking! Even reproducing! Totally amazing.

Television

Shared by @torbooks – New trailer for Game of Thrones! Sweet~!

Writing Advice

From @KristenLambTX – The Character of the Successful Writer–A New Level or a New Devil?

Shared by @rachelcaine – The skinny on books being made into movies – misconceptions dashed!

From @ChuckWendig – Thoughts on Rejections and Reality – how to beat both!

Shared by @jafurtado – Are you a Moral author? by Richard Curtis – New contract clause at Harper Collins

Shared by @ChuckWendig – Reading aloud to edit – I need to do this more often myself!

Shared by @KristenLambTXParenting, Writing, Life! How do you fit it all in?

Shared by @KristenLambTX – Some tips on writing a Press Release that will get attention

Shared by @inkyelbows#amwriting Website. Tons of resources and also explains what hashtags are and more! (I need to make a presence there!)

From @KristenLambTX – 1st in a series – Twitter Tuesdays. Twitter for Authors!

From @dknippling – How to play the Writer Lotto!

From @KristenLambTXThis is NOT the Blog You’re Looking For -how to avoid being that guy…

From @ChuckWendig – Like the preachings of the Church of DBAA and Yard Dog Press – Don’t be an asshole of a writer but still be yourself

Phew! That’s an awful lot of good stuff I scrunched out of this week! Dang! Enjoy!

Mind Sieve 1/17/11

More fun stuff I’ve run across to share with you this week. Enjoy!

Book Releases

From @ChuckWendig – Where he celebrates the Release of IRREGULAR CREATURES – giving info, a sales pitch and GUILT! Bwahahahaha! (Potentially not safe for work!)

From @rclementmoore – Paperback Release of Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore.

Contests/Giveaways

Shared by @rclementmoore – A ton of free books up for grabs at YA Outside the Lines

Shared by @inkyelbows – Literary Manuscript Agent Contest!

From @NovelNoviceBig CONTEST! EPIC Prizes but you’ll have to work for them. 😛

From @Suzanne_McLeodBook Giveaways starting with The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

From @ElanaJ – Celebrating the launch of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Conventions

Shared by @AKon_ConventionAA has discounts for peeps buying airline tickets to come to A-kon! How cool is that?!

Fan Fun

Shared by @torbooksHan Solo in carbonite in Firefly episodes! Yes, see if you too can spot the elusive Han Solo! (A lot like Pineapples in Psych! Heh)

Games

Shared by @ChuckWendigMINECRAFT an addictive little game! (Family has been playing it for several weeks. Fun time sink!)

Manga/Anime/Cartoons

From @examinercomYoung Justice – new superhero fodder on Cartoon Network (Saw the premier in late 2010 and this was fun!)

Personal Help

From Kathy SullivanLoners and lonely – what’s the difference? And what does it mean to you?

Science

Shared by @ChuckWendigBees are dying – And we may know exactly why. (Mind boggling that they can get away with this stuff…)

Shared by @mdbenoit2Sonic Black Hole ho! Interesting article on how they hope to study Hawkins particles

Weird & Creepy

From @examinercomDead birds in the thousands fall from the sky in Italy (I believe since then there’s been even more flocks of birds dying all over the place. Eek)

Writing Advice

From @KristenLambTXWriting Productivity – how to get it!

Shared by @ixtumeaNegativity can keep you from success. And not necessarily from where or what you’d normally expect.

Shared by @ChuckWendigJM Tohline presents a list and explanations for the biggest mistakes writers make when querying literary agents (these come straight from agents too!)

Shared by @sfwaPractical bits of useful info for young and old writers.

From @ChuckWendigMajor Reality Check!Why you might not get published (NSFW)

Shared by @KristenLambTX – (NSFW) Editing the Chore, the Challenge, the Misconceptions!

Shared by @KristenLambTX – Discussion on whether or not Cold Queries work

Shared by @inkyelbows – Giving Characters Character! Make them Pop off the page

That’s it for this week. If you found some way cool stuff you’d like to share, tack it on in the comments!

Catch Up Ramblings

Yo, all!

Had back to back conventions so have not been able to do any blog posts. Work’s been busy too! Darn it! So let’s see what kind of damage I can do this morning, shall we? Heh heh

February 2-5, 2010 saw me at AggieCon. It was nice to be able to go on down there again. Run by alumn and also current students, it has been a staple at Texas A&M for many years. This was the first year it was held off campus, as most of the space that used to be available for the convention has had to be converted for other things. Been seeing many of the ConCom’s peeps at other conventions in 2009 trying to see how others did things. For their first time in a totally new venue, I thought they did an awesome job! Congrats, guys!

What I did enjoy more than usual too were the room parties. Mostly put on by other conventions trying to attract pre-registration members, and groups doing World Con bids, they tend to be incredibly packed affairs. I’m not like the biggest party goer around (I tend to be more of a wallflower. I’m shy… I just am!) and when it’s wall to wall people, hot, and noisy, it tends to put me off. But because of the new venue and possibly students needing to go to bed early (crazy, right?) they were much more lightly attended than normal and that was awesome! Made the parties quite relaxing! Even got to harass some peeps. Bwahahahahaha! (Oh and being on a panel with A Lee Martinez and Rosemary Clement-Moore when they’re both real tired was a blast! Oh the blackmail material! YES! Bwahahahahahaha!) Ahem…

And while I have done readings at the Yard Dog Press Road Shows before, this was my first time actually taking a part in one of the small Who Done It Bubba Mysteries. I gave all my clues away as I didn’t know how we’d know what round we were in, but was able to errr salvage the situation. Yeah! I said we had us a Government Conspiracy! Woot! Heh heh. Was a lot of fun.

Also had an added treat, as I was asked to introduce Martha Wells (Texas A&M Alumn) at her Q&A and reading session. Only mispronounced a thing or two. And didn’t fall on my face, so it was mostly successful on my part? Eek!

Want to thank Rie Sheridan and Mel White for helping me and Kathy Sullivan with rides to and from the airport down there. The ride with 3 of us in Rie’s small pickup was an adventure all on its own. Hee!

February 12-14, 2010 was spent at ConDFW! Since it’s super local, I dragged my daughter along so she could ply her wares for Chibi Chains as I hocked books. Weirdly enough while people enjoyed looking at her colored chainmail jewelry, it was her Japanese chainmail blocks that were popular! Especially with teenage girls. The things are fun to play with!

Had a great time seeing peeps and talking up a storm. Also helped judge the costume contest for the first time ever! I even tortured those who showed up for my reading with a short story I’ve been kicking about and then asked them for comments to help improve it! Bwahahaha! (Bet they were not expecting that! Hee hee!) Ended up being too tired to do the party runs. Ugh.

What else? Oh, I’m going into Movie Theater withdrawal. Between the cons and all the OT hubby’s had to put in at work, we’ve not made it to the movie theater in weeks! Eek! And there’s stuff I wanna see out! Oh noes! Need to sneak in one or two somehow before I come up to the next convention. lol.

Have an awesome day, ya’ll!

April 2008 Newsletter

April Showers are upon us! (As evidenced by some huge storms this past week! Eek!)

Index
1) News
2) Marketing Madness
3) Latest Appearance Schedule
4) Upcoming Appearances
5) What’s Up?

1) News

“Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles” is now out in Trade Paperback! Woot! The day is finally here. Available at Amazon and directly from the publisher HardShell Word Factory.

The Anthology, A Time To…Volume 2, which includes my story “Mentor for Hire”, is now OUT! Not quite yet listed on Amazon, but can be purchased through Lulu for the trade paperback version. Also available in Kindle and other ebook formats. More info can be found here

No real new updates on The Phoenix Project anthology to help the Louisianna libraries. Still no cover that I know of, but the project is proceeding. There will be illustrations for the stories too, which should be fun.

Now on version 3 of the essay on Supernatural for trying to get into the Smart Pop book they are organizing for the TV Show. Didn’t help that the first two months of 2008 I had ZERO time for writing. Was twitching in withdrawal. Had to dump #2 as it was too broad in scope, I’d hit 5K words and still had half more to go, so…picked one vein out of that and hopefully #3 will be the one. Hopefully I won’t be too late getting this done. I want in there BAD! lol. :D

Have received a couple of reviews for “Willing Sacrifice ” and “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles “. The one for “Willing Sacrifice” comes from MyShelf.com and the one for “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles” is currently posted at the Mist and Stars blog on an entry for March 26th and should make its way eventually onto the Enternal Night website. Just click on the two review name links if you’d like to see what they had to say.:p

2) Marketing

Have been going nuts the last couple of days trying to catch up with the promo to do list I made from the last EPICon. Way too many items to follow up on and too many still not done from before. Just as I did last month I still need to set up bookmark templates for Cross-eyed and make the postcard templates for it and Willing Sacrifice. Also need to remember to do my flyer for Cross-eyed too. Realized I was definitely missing stuff when I set up shop at AggieCon last weekend. Eek!

No news on the new logo yet. I am frothing a little in eagerness as it looks like I will need to break down and try to do some book trailer promos but can’t get going on them till I have the new logo. No point in branding myself with something I plan to drop. So it’s the waiting game for me. Not like I don’t have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime though.

Spent an hour or so Saturday putting up info on the books at Free Ad sites. Seems it is one of the newest gimmicks for promotion. No idea if it will do anything, but most let me upload the book covers so couldn’t hurt.

Even as I was working on this, I came up with at least three items I’ve forgotten to do! lol. Marketing is never ending. I rather be writing!!! lol.

3) Latest Appearance Report

In the first part of March I got to attend EPICon. This year’s event was held in Portland, OR. The day I left, I was thinking to myself that I was going from sunny warm Dallas to probably cold and or rainy Oregon. Life, as usual, likes to show humor in torture. That morning, we had an ice storm come in, which hit hours earlier than expected, so not only did the wings get caked with ice, but our engine actually froze. We got to sit in the plane for 3 hours before we were able to leave for the 3.5 hour flight. While it was way cool seeing them go through the process, it did make for a long day. When we got to Portland, it was a totally gorgeous day there. Also found out 300 or more flights got cancelled in Dallas, so we were lucky we got to leave at all!

Jeff Strand was making a stop over in Dallas, and we ended up on the same flight. This was a good thing for me, as he was able to tell me the gate had changed, because I’d not heard the message over the PA. Since he had started out at 5am or so that morning, it was a TRULY long day for him.

I had expected to help out with voluntary functions and whatnot at this convention, but ended up not having to. I was also surprised because we did get some new blood on the panels and this got me a huge to do list from the Promo Track! Also found the coolest, evil, warped looking tree ever in the park across the street. Another treat was the field trip to Powell’s, the US’s biggest new and used bookstore. The place was awesome!

And as always the banquet night was a blast! Jeff’s MCing was a thing of beauty, as always! (I teased the heck out of him all weekend too – which is not my normal self – don’t know what got into me!) I got up there and read my assigned category and the winners and didn’t fall, trip, or make a total fool of myself, so the evening was a total thumbs up! Even had great company at the table and much fun ensued. Also Kathy Sullivan got kudos from the podium for doing volunteer work despite having a broken ankle. Go Kathy! And, believe it or not, I took pics !

The other convention I attended in March was AggieCon. The hotel was even farther from the University than last year, so I was quite thrilled I got assigned a driver! Lance picked me up from the airport and would make sure I got back to the hotel at night, so that was awesome.

A lot less guests this year, but I thought attendance was as good if not better than last year. I sold six out of the eight books I brought with me (being so far from the hotel making lugging things around a little more restrictive) so I was thrilled! Got to spend some time talking with Rachel Caine, Darlene Bolesny, and Mel White so that was great! Saw friend Tom Knowles again, and he was pushing a new Texas non-fiction book as well as the opening of Lone Star Publishing and Dark Star Books . Also had a really entertaining panel with Todd McCaffrey, Steven Brust, and Rachel Caine. This is where the sentence of the weekend came up and was used and abused throughout (it’s a little racy so figured it would be best not to repeat it), and also a point of contention was brought up having to do with the art show and censorship. What was fun about the censorship part was that a number of the guests and congoers put blue tape X’s on their chests at strategic places. One gentleman, who was costumed as an ogre, (darn nice job too!) proved he was an ogre to the core as he put his giant X on his belly button, totally missing the point as an ogre would. It was great!

Main media guest was actress Ellen Muth, who played George in the TV series “Dead Like Me”. A new movie based on the series will be coming out on DVD in July 2008! She was incredibly sweet, beyond skinny, and looked to have had a good time. Also JM McDermott was making a big splash pushing his author cards toting them as “dangerous and that they could cut you”. He was having way too much fun! Heh.

It just occured to me that Mary, who was running the con suite, messed up her ankle during the convention (got attacked by a couch). That’s two people in two cons with messed up ankles. I hope this is not some kind of new trend! (Like Kathy, Mary was a total trooper going beyond the line of duty and sticking it out all weekend making sure people were getting fedf! Heck that morning she was making waffles! Kudos to her!)

4) Upcoming Appearances

I’ve got no more conventions till the end of May, which is awesome as I have way too much to catch up on before then. A-kon falls this year on May 30 – June 1st. My understanding is that this year they are asking as many people to come in costume as possible as they will be trying to get the con on one of the world records books! That should be a blast to see.

5) What’s up?

Finally was able to get a little writing done this month but not as much as I would have wanted. Still, grateful for whatever I can get! Work is getting more and more…ugly? As unexpected issues with one of the major projects came up and the nasty stuff looks to be hitting the fan. It is very possible the company will not come out unscathed if even in business. The next week will say alot. Need to make sure to polish up my resume. Eek! Not looking forward to any of this at all! (Need to win the lotto more than ever! lol

The Citizen’s Police Academy is over. Very well worth it and would recommend it for anyone. My understanding is that some sort of program of the same type is available at most cities, so if you have any interest, do it! Learned lots of fascinating stuff. I think one of the more eye opening statements that people don’t think about is the fact that police enforce the laws, they don’t make them. So there’s no point berating them for it. Heh heh

On the reading front, finished Dume Key by Stepehen King – the total bomb as usual! Terry Pratchet’s Night Watch, love those characters! And am currently reading an older book called “She” by H Rider Haggard.

May the April showers not wash your home away! Have a great month all!

Gloria Oliver
http://www.gloriaoliver.com/
Unveiling the Fantastic

August Madness

August has been HOT and just darn weird. And since part of that mess made me miss posting last week, this will be this week’s topic! Bwahahaha

The temperatures have been trying to catch up from the below average temps we had in June due to all the unusual rain. The week so far has been cresting at around 104F with the humidity and pollution adding to the mix and making it feel like 110. We’ve also been having “Red Zone” days, which basically means if you go do anything outside in this heat, you’re taking your life in your own hands. Definitely not something to do lightly. 😛

With Lazy Dragon Con, Armadillo Con, and the upcoming Animefest, as well as my hubby’s suddenly chaotic travel for work, my movie watching on Friday Nights has been pretty curtailed of late. So it was really frustrating when we made plans a couple of weeks ago to see the “Bourne Ultimatum” and it basically exploded in my face. Thanks to Paul Greengrass, the director of the film, I kissed $9 bucks goodbye and almost more than that.

Paul Greengrass directed the previous Bourne film as well and did something incredibly annoying which he then repeated with the Bourne Ultimatum, and decided to take to new heights of ridiculous. Seems he is incredibly fond of not using a steady cam to keep the picture straight. This was pretty sad in the last Bourne film as it pretty much ruined the action scenes (one has to wonder if they were so bad he uses this to hide the fact) as you can’t see well as to who is doing what. But no, seemingly he got so enamored of the process he decided to do it one better for this new film. Yes, let’s make even the static, people sitting at a table scenes move and shake all over the place!

Have no idea what the man was thinking, and don’t know if I want to. At least in the previous Bourne film you had steady spots to get your equilibrium back. In this latest one, well, I was pretty much motion sick after the first half hour. It was an honestly close thing that my dinner did not get to decorate the floor – and I’d had caffeine too, which normally will gloss over any slight feelings of motion sickness. Not this time. This was so over the top it was insane. So I grinned and bared it by closing my eyes and blocking the filtering movie light with my hand so hubby wouldn’t miss out. And even he felt a little woozy by the end and was thoroughly disappointed by the blurring of all the action. I won’t even go into the weird trio sitting next to me who entertained me in strange ways when I had my eyes closed. Must admit, does make it harder to follow the plot when you can’t see!

I spoke last time about the cursed hotel, so I won’t go there again. But did have some similar issues with the one for Lazy Dragon Con. The hallway for the artist alley did not want to cooperate. Luckily the comcom fought to get us fans!!! So it was still a vast improvement. And while we had room door issues at the Double Tree for Armadillo Con (locked out of my own room – that was definitely different – even with the old cliched “call the engineer and when he gets there it opens first try” scenario. Proved to him real quick it was busted though as I closed it again and then showed him! He couldn’t get it open except with much difficulty himself after that – bwahahaha):P at least the air conditioning worked in the dealer’s room most of the time. By Sunday we were in an arctic circle. Sometimes you just can’t win!:)

Work sent me into a total raging stress attack as my boss turned in his resignation. Scott has always been the shield to the rest of the company from the owners and in the accounting side, the one sweating it the most about meeting cash needs ever since we started having troubles. Well, now the buck stops with ME! AIIIIEEEE! So while I may not be picking up a lot of stuff to do, the responsibility is HUGE and I can feel it. (Heck just typing about it for this is tightening my shoulders with stress! lol!) I will be able to handle it, but dang! (As a writer, I found the whole stress thing, symptoms and whatnot, horribly fascinating. You can ache and feels things in places you never imagined. Stress is a weird, weird thing.)

Now this last bit of weirdness caught me totally off guard. Yesterday I got up, fed the cats, showered and dressed as normal, and went through part of the dark house to get to the kitchen. Normally this presents no real problems. Not so yesterday. Mr. Boots, our resident trouble maker, decided to splay himself out on the floor right in my way. You would think this would mean more trouble for him than me, but seemingly that was not the case. Even wearing shoes, when my foot came forward and whacked into him, it was like hitting a 16 pound brick. (He’s lean and mean! Gets his exercise bugging the heck out of the other cats till they take off and he can chase them! But he is so cute!) Anyway, he barely grunts and gets up and out of the way, and I am hobbling in pain. After a few minutes though, I forgot about it and went about my morning routine before leaving for work. Didn’t think about the incident again – till this morning.

Coming out of the shower and drying up, I touched my foot and felt…pain! My socks were already on, so I didn’t look at it. My husband pipes in when I tell him this, and says I’ve probably broken the toe. When I looked at it later, the middle toe is swollen and keeps bugging me. I mean, who would ever think you could break a toe accidentally walking into the cat! Need to take an Advil to bring down the swelling and keep an eye on it. Not much you can do for broken toes except watch them and make sure they don’t turn interesting colors. Still, I’d never broken a toe before! My husband is another matter entirely – him and the four poster bed have a strange relationship. 😛

Hopefully life has now had its fill of madness. I need a BREAK! 😛 Have a good weekend!

Conestoga Convention Report

Every year, Tulsa, Ok holds a Science Fiction and Fantasy convention called Conestoga Con. One of my three publishers has always had a huge presence there and since I got included in attendee lists for the publisher two or three times last year when I was NOT going, I figured it was fate giving me a hint I should go. So I did!

The con was held on 7/20 thru 7/22/07. Guests of Honor were Laurell K Hamilton and Eric Flint. John Picacio was the Artist Guest of Honor (His stuff rocks!). Elizabeth Moon was the Toastmistress.(She sings!):P

The dealer’s room is rather small, so no individual tables were being sold to authors. Luckily, Yard Dog Press buys two tables, one which they use to rent space to their authors to show other books by them, so I was able to squeeze a spot.

As I understand it, there were less programming tracks than in previous years, but the ones I was part of always had plenty of folks attending and looked to be well received.

Got to meet several people I know online but had not met face to face – Jim Burke, Robin Bailey, Glenn Sixbury, Mel Tatum, Allison Stein (All Yard Doggies!), as well as Carol Hightshoe (Who runs the Lorelei Signal and is also a fellow Broad from Broad Universe). (I have a story in their July-Sept issue! Go check it out! Plug Plug!):P

Yard Dog had a big party on Friday night. The Theme was Ho’s Through the Ages – as in famous people who pushed their work or art. I did mine on Weird Al! Heh heh heh. Puns and jokes abounded as well as posters to all these Ho’s. Hurtling Monkeys were the drink of the evening.

The hotel had all sorts of problems – I think it was their jinx weekend. Friday – their entire phone system was down. Friday thru Sunday – Major air conditioning issues down in the convention area – dealer’s room was a sauna! (I’ve never been as grateful for a hand fan as I was during this thing! :P) Sunday the hot water went from hot to cold to hot again – the cold lasting a minute or more. (Was I surprised!) Then down in the breakfast buffet restaurant the lights in the seating area went out. Jinxed I tell ya! Luckily everything else seemed to work okay (aside from the elevator car that tried to eat me…)

Con Staff was very friendly and all seemed to have everything well in hand and running pretty smoothly. Utterly loved their guest packets. They had a program grid, a personalized paper just for my stuff, a sticker with room and times on the back of the badge, and the con program book, and not one but two name cards for the tables! Yay for organization!

Yard Dog Press released “Houston, We’ve Got Bubbas” at the convention and they flew off the shelves. Think Bubbas in SPACE! This is the 4th installment in the Bubba Comedy anthology series dealing with a post apocalyptic earth where the Yuppie 2025 virus wiped out all of mankind except for two types of people. Bubbas, as they proved immune due to their consumption of large quantities of BBQ sauce, and Yuppies, who due to their constant exposure to CRT screens, mutated the virus and got turned into zombies, known as Yumbies. Lots of fun!

I bailed on the con and all on Saturday evening after sitting in the sauna of the dealer’s room most of the day. (Stupidly didn’t look at the schedule to realize the masquerade and other things were on. Doh! You’d think I’d know better by now…sigh…) But to be honest I was not feeling too good and thought retiring early would be best. Felt loads better Sunday!

Got to ride with pilots on the way to the hotel and airport, so had some interesting conversations going on in the hotel shuttle. So that was fun too.

Trouble hit on the way home though. We’re almost to Dallas on the short 45 min airplane ride when the plane is made to circle due to severe weather. Now, I’ve never had issues on a plane, but I almost had to avail myself of the handy dandy barf bag. Though we were circling in a big circle, it still got to me. I was so glad I had had that coke before! Made sure to locate the barf bag just in case. Luckily about the time I thought I could take no more, we were running out of fuel and so got sent on to Oklahoma City to refuel. When we got there, the weather had eased, so we were able to fill up and go back. A 45 minute flight turned into 3 hours. Felt bad for my daughter who sat at the airport for over 2 hours waiting for me! Eek!

Overall though, I had a good time, even sold a few books on Sunday (yay!), and it was fab to meet all those new peeps, both writers and fans. Hope to get invited again next year.

MidSouthCon 2006

At the Holiday Inn Select in Memphis, TN March 24-26th I had the pleasure once again to be a guest at MidSouthCon.

I did couple of anime panels as well as the Yard Dog Road Show, a reading, and the ever popular “Dark and Stormy Night” panel.

The “Dark and Stormy Night” panel is a last day panel for the enjoyment of the fans and torture of the panelists (but it is still a lot of fun as you can make your fellow panelists cringe in horror! Bwahahaha). The premise is that throughout the con, the fans have been putting quotes from movies, TV, commercials, books, whatever on pieces of paper and piling them in a bucket. On the day of the panel, a setting is chosen by the audience, then the panelists must take one of the pieces of papers and incorporate whatever is there into the tale being spun. Makes for a lot of hilarity and comedic faces. Add in Selina Rosen, Lee Martindale, myself and the two other writers (I am ashamed to say I forgot their names! Argh!) and it was a ball! If you ever get a chance to go to one of those – don’t miss it!!!

Made a number of new friends like Joy Ward and Haley Elizabeth Garwood and Kara who were a total hoot and definitely made the hours pass quickly in the dealer’s room. Also had some great conversations with some of the dealers as we sat around and pushed our wares.

To my pleased surprise Order of the Stick was at the con! It’s a comic strip on the web that is a total hoot. It’s done by Rich Burlew. The art is done in a funky style, but the wit is razro sharp. A must for anyone who has ever gamed. Too darn funny!

Great guests, great panels, great friends – not much more could be asked for! I had a very good time. Thanks all!

EPICon 2006

From Thursday to Sunday I was in san Antonio attending EPICon 2006.

A con mostly for writers and publishers interested in e-books, it is still a great venue for anyone interested in the craft, with lots of panels and demonstrations.

What makes this convention even more fun are the extras that come with it. Admission gets you fed most of the weekend for one. We also got a private tour of the Alamo (which was a lot smaller than I thought it would be), and a ride on the canal on one of the riverboats. Because we were considered a tour group, we even got taken to places people do not get to see on the regular rides. Yay! Our boat driver was awesome too, had a ton of information.

Of course the con is also a great place for networking and talking one on one with e-book/print publishers. The highlight of the con is the EPPIES, awards for fine writing in e-publishing, presented by the MC for Life – Jeff Strand. Normally a very shy individual, he out does himself every year causing audiences to roll on the floor. He is a hoot! (His horror mysteries splashed with a little comedy are not half bad either!) 😛

The location for 2007 will be Virginia Beach, Va and looks to be shaping up to a fab time! We get to take over a beach hotel! Oh yeah!

For more info on EPICON, the EPPIES, or EPIC check out http://www.epicauthors.com/