FenCon, we are here!

Made it to Dallas with a minimum of annoyances and am ready for FenCon to start here in a few hours.

However I learned a valuable lesson today. Don’t stand still too long during Con set-up. One minute I was talking to a couple of the volunteers, and the next thing I knew, I was hauling in water and soda for the con suite. *grin*

It looks like the FenCon staff and volunteers are a fun bunch to hang around with. Looking forward to doing it for real.

(This was supposed to have been posted last night, but the hotel wifi was less than cooperative . . . *sigh*

Convention weekend . . .

Getting ready to take off for FenCon tomorrow morning. Finally feel like I’m shaking this cold that has knocked me down for the past three days, so hopefully, with a good rest tomorrow night, I’ll be ready to enjoy the show.

My schedule at FenCon is:

Tie One In
Friday 3:00 PM Live Oak
w/ Vickey Kennedy and Timothy Zahn (no pressure there, nah.)

War Tech!
Friday 6:00 PM Red Oak
w/J.R. Hargenrader. William Ledbetter, Selina Rosen, Brad Sinor and David Gray

Saturday 10:00 AM Gallery
w/P.N. Elrod

Writer Beware: How Not to Get Published
Saturday 1:00 PM Red Oak

What’s In The Playlist?
Sunday 10:00 AM Addison Lecture Hall
w/ Rachel Caine, Melanie Fletcher, Frank Summers, and K. Hutson Price

Sunday 1:00 PM Pecan

Plus, I’ll have a small table to sell some of my books on Sunday from 2-4.

The only pain about this trip is the fact I have to fly out of Reagan International. Tomorrow isn’t too bad (plane leaves at 1200). However, on the return trip, I arrive at Reagan at 2340. So, it’ll probably be close to 0100 when I get my car from the parking lot for the Metro and then 0200 by the time I get home.

Oh, and I may have jury duty on Monday – which means I’d have to be at the courthouse IN Baltimore by 0830.

I really, really, really hope my number doesn’t get called this weekend.


Collaboration: Not for the fainthearted

Had a great day writing today.

Worked on additional ideas and story directions for Chronicles of the Sea Dragon with April MacDee as well as working on the Black Talon and crew. The Black Talon is the sister ship to the Sea Dragon, although they don’t always work toward the same purposes.

This evening I worked on the expanded proposals for a publisher. Hopefully, I’ll finish that this evening and get it off to the publisher on Sunday. Then it will be time to finish Crossed Swords.

I love kicking ideas around with other writers.

Expanding the universe

Took a short break from Crossed Swords tonight. But, I didn’t spend the night completely idle.

I heard back regarding one of my unnamed projects. It wasn’t a rejection, but it wasn’t a complete approval either. So, I spent tonight and I’ll be spending some time tomorrow doing revised and expanded proposals for two concepts. (Still haven’t heard anything about the first secret project with this same publisher yet.)

So, I’m walking that tight-rope of including enough information to make them want to sign off on the project, but not so much information that their eyes roll up in their heads and they fall asleep. I’ll try to get everything finished up tomorrow, give it a day to rest and then get it off to them this weekend after last minute revisions.

Yep, query letters, proposals, synopses, novels, short stories, Facebook posts . . . all of them need a moment to rest and then edit before sending off.

Eat. Sleep. Write.

Continuing with the edits for Crossed Swords this evening. I’ve hit 2883 words and let’s just say, the tempo is on the rise for the main character. He’s just ridden into an ambush, but it’s not the fight with the main protagonist, so, it’s the pseudo-climax . . . the pre-climax . . . something. I may be majoring in English, but I have to admit, I’m much more interested in books that are entertaining to read than I am about breaking down everything into its minutia.

Still, considering I went to bed at 0230 last night (or technically yesterday morning since it’s just past midnight here), It would probably behoove me to call it a night much earlier. I have a feeling my day job wouldn’t appreciate the hard work and effort I put into my writing if it meant me falling asleep at work.

Employers are funny that way.

Here we go down the editing trail . . .

Sat down with a good selection of music and a nice Spanish red wine and started editing my first draft of “Crossed Swords”. I’ve written my story on a different computer and I’m working off of the hard copy. As I type it in, it allows me to make the first real edit of the story. Plus, since I’m not just “editing” from “track changes”, it forces me to actually read what I had written in the first place and identify plot holes, rough spots, and pacing issues.

Yeah, it may be the old fashioned way to do editing, but then again, I’m an old fashioned guy. *grin*

I hit 4587 words tonight on the edit. Just about the halfway point. I hope to have this done in the next day or so. Then I’ll give it one last going over and get this off to the publisher.

With this done, I’ll actually be out of contracted work. This has been an exciting and interesting two years. I don’t think I’ve ever written this many short stories and novellas. Now, back to a few novels I’ve been putting off.

“What? You wanna live forever? Move out.”

Here’s the logo for my WWII short story collection that will be coming out soon by Pro Se Productions.

Can’t show you the cover art for this story yet, (but the artist caught exactly what I was going for, so you’ve got that to look forward too).

f you’re wondering what it’s like, I was definitely trying to channel Sgt. Rock, The Rat Patrol, Combat!, Our Fighting Forces, The Haunted Tank and all those other 60s WWII TV shows and comics, but keeping enough realism and research in there to keep the historian who shares the same head space with the creative writer happy.

But, as always, I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say about it.

Coming in Days from Pro Se Productions…
Photo: Coming in Days from Pro Se Productions...

Amping the volume for some other people

And the 2015 schedule keeps filling in. Just purchased an exhibitor’s booth at Rocket City Lit Fest which will be October 10th and 11th, 2015.

Please take a bit and check out their site. This looks like it’s going to shape up to be a pretty cool convention . . . and it’s in Rocket City. What more do you want?

Promoting the power of reading to all ages with a massive literary festival in Huntsville, AL

Also, I want to promote a blog.  I can’t recommend the Charlton Neo team enough.  This group started out with a number of people who just loved the old Charlton Comics and then old contributors to the comics started popping by and as writers and artists are wont to do, they start reminicing about old projects they would loved to have worked on and then, in their best Andy Hardy voice, someone said, “Hey, I’ve got an old piano, you’ve got a barn, let’s put on a show.”

And thus, the Charlton Arrow was born.

OK, there was a little more thought put into it than that, but this crew feeds off the energy between older creators and new creators and just good ol’ fans and this team seems to be off and running.

I highly recommend checking out the Charlton Neo blog


And as long as I’m promoting other people’s websites and blogs, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend my writing sensei, and good friend, Steve Roman’s publishing company’s site, StarWarp Concepts.  Along with printing some graphic novels by some guy named Rich White, Steve is putting out an outstanding YA Dark Fantasy series, The Saga of Pandora Zwiebeck. The first in the set is currently available  (Blood Feud), while Book two, BloodReign will be released this year and and Blood and Steel will be released next year.

I can’t recommend Steve’s work enough and suggest checking it out.

Back into the deep end of the pool

Just placed my order for a table at Awesome Con (May 29-31, 2015). This will be the first time I’ve exhibited at a comic convention by myself as myself instead of working with (or representing) my friend and co-creator, Steve Roman.  I wish it wasn’t the same weekend as BEA/BookCon, but a local show almost always takes precedent over one where I have to add in hotel/travel/food.

I used to hit the comic convention circuit pretty hard in the 90s/early 00s, but as I did less comic work and more short story/novel work, I shifted to SF/F shows, which was a definite culture shock. Going from the idea of 18000 being a small con to 3200 being a huge con took a lot of mental gymnastics, but I came to see how the two cultures were focused on many different things, even thought there was a lot of crossover in them. I have some friends who’re going the other way (from SF/F shows to Comic conventions) and I’m trying to give them some pointers, so they’ll enjoy themselves the next time they go. (Don’t even get me started on Anime cons.)

Now, I won’t be doing this alone. My daughter will help me man the booth on Friday and Sunday and my friend and co-creator on Chronicles of the Sea Dragon, April MacDicken, will be there to help promote the booth.

Now, I just have to hope I have plenty of new projects to show.