Mysticon 2016 Schedule

Just got my schedule for MystiCon in Roanoke, VA, next weekend.

Fantasy Worldbuilding – Board Room 1 – Friday 5pm

Bringing the Comic Book World to the TV or Big Screen – Ballroom D – Friday 10pm

Beginning Roleplaying – Ballroom E – Saturday 12pm

Reading – Saturday 1:30pm

Podcast: Mr. Adventure – Ballroom C – Saturday 2pm

Them’s Fighting Words – Ballroom D – Saturday 3pm

How Much Worldbuilding Does an RPG Need? – Vista Room – Saturday 7pm

Writing a Query that Sells – Ballroom E – Sunday 11am

Beyond Western Europe – Other World Cultures for Fantasy – Ballroom D – Sunday 1pm

Plus, I’ll be doing a signing somewhere in there. I was supposed to be at my table at 2pm, but it’s Mr. Adventure! I’m not missing out on a chance to be on this podcast. And if you’re not listening to it, you really should be.

Yeah, I’m insane. *grin* But, I figure it’s my way to give back to the convention by helping out as much as possible.


Finishing one project to start another

Spent the past three days doing research on a possible new project. Yeah, having to read Golden Age Comics is a real tragedy, isn’t it? More to come on this once I get the proposal written up and sent in to the publisher.

Worked on my Kickstarter page for For a Few Gold Pieces More. I think it’s about as ready as it’s going to get, but I’m looking for a few volunteers who’ve done a Kickstarter before to review the site and see if I’m overlooking something before the launch later this month. I’m so pleased with the video that Joshua Orozco at Atomic Canary did for me.

I believe in this project, but I’ve still got some butterflies about how it’s going to do. I’m just hoping we can generate enough word of mouth to carry it over the top.

Now, if the Chiefs will just win tomorrow, this will have turned out to be a pretty good week. *sigh*

Awesome Con 2015 report

Home from Awesome Con. Thanks to my senior erstwhile assistant, Kashi Tan, I managed to survive all three days.

Friday morning set-up went fairly smoothly, once we *finally* found out where they were giving out the exhibitor badges. I think we were sent to four or five different locations before I was able to pick up the badge package. Between lugging around all the gear and the humidity, we were certainly off to a warm start.

However, once we found the table. it didn’t take too long to get set up and there was a bit of time to wander around before the convention started letting in the people with VIP passes.

The convention was in a much bigger room and that meant we had larger tables this year and (even better) more room behind the table. Last year had felt a bit claustrophobic and we were climbing over each others stuff if you had to get out from behind the table. This year, it was a piece of cake, and when April Macdicken joined us on Friday, we had more than enough room. Even on Saturday, when Joni Kouvelis White and Mark Macdicken joined us at the table, we still had sufficient room to visit and still talk with our customers.

I have to say, Awesome Con had a much different vibe than it had last year. Perhaps it’s because they invited so many more media guests this year. I’m certain it’s great for the convention, but now Awesome Con feels like half a dozen other conventions I’ve seen around the country. It’s much less about comics/books and much more about the autographs and pictures. I know the media and cosplay fans will think this is fantastic, but it was painful for many of the people in artists alley and the smaller retailers. Sales were off significantly against last year according to a number of people I talked to, yet there were certainly more people at the show.

However, that doesn’t mean it was a bad show. I had a great time visiting with the people who stopped by the table. Chronicles of the Sea Dragon was probably the best seller for this show – apparently pirate comics are in vogue and several people wanted to see more about Kalana, the captain of the Black Talon, getting her own stories in the Chronicles. My Star Trek Next Gen anthology did well too. A number of people expressed interest in my fantasy noir story, Full Moon Affair, but over all, as I said, sales were down compared to last year.

I did get to speak to a number of new authors for Writer Beware and may be doing a few podcast on behalf of the committee here in the next few months. Can’t wait to help spread the word to help authors avoid some of the pitfalls I’ve seen others fall into.

I did enjoy visiting with a number of web comic writers and artists that I follow on a regular basis who were at the show. It was nice to catch up with Bill Holbrook, the creator of the original web comic, Kevin and Kell. I also had the opportunity to meet Shouri, the creator of the web comic Fragile, Eric Menge with Snow by Night, and Savannah Houston-McIntyre and Andrew Hewitt from Amya.

I also caught up with Robert Greenberg, Nick Minecci, Carla “Speed” McNeil, Stuart Jaffe, and D.C. TheBassist, and several others. it’s always fantastic to catch up with friends at shows like this.

I’ll need a little while to determine whether or not I’ll be going back to Awesome Con. But, before I worry about that, I’ve got to get busy. I leave on Tuesday for Origins Game Fair, so I have to unpack, repack and get ready tomorrow night.

Hopefully my feet will recover by then. *grin*

Spare time? What is this spare time you speak of?

See, this is what happens when you start to think, “Wow, I’m almost caught up on stuff, maybe I can start working on X now.”

So, I continued working on Operation Komodo tonight, and added about 1700 more words (and eliminated about 300). Good progress, I’m well over the halfway point. Time to start pushing toward the finish line with this story.

Then in the space of about two hours, I receive a galley to proof for the Origins Game Fair anthology Space, where my story “Moonshadows” will be appearing. So, need to carve out some time for that. Along with receiving the galley, I was approached by a publisher I’ve worked with to possibly contribute a short story for a new anthology he’s putting together. So, I’ll need to do some research, but it sounds like a fun project and well, I’m a sucker for the topic.

Oh, did I mention, I got an idea for a possible new comic script to start pitching around. So, eventually, I’ll have to finish writing up at least a synopsis of the characters and their powers and what the hell will I do with the characters since I created them before having a story to go with them and is it something I can put in a universe I already have or is it a stand alone project?

Oh yeah, and there is a new “sekrit” project on the horizon too.

Hey, Hermione! Pass me the time turner. I’m gonna need it.

Real life research . . .

And the first set of revisions on Mouse Trap are headed back to the editor for review/comment/more edits. It’s going to be good to get back to writing new stuff here soon instead of editing. I have to admit, getting four stories back to edit within a four week period is pretty stressful, but fun in its own way.

One of the fun things about doing the Black Cat is in all of her comics, there was always a two-page spread showing actual judo moves. Now obviously the comics have an advantage since the artist can certainly make it a lot clearer for the reader by showing an example. Well, I did my best to describe the throws and strikes Linda uses as the Black Cat, but to add a little more realism into the story, I turned to a friend of mine, Megan Kirk, who practices judo and described the moves I was using and she gave me the actual names of those throws.

Now, would the story have read fine without that? Probably. But does it add a little something in there for those who “know” judo? Let’s just say, it’s a little tip of the cap to them.

And speaking of tipping . . . I think I should tip my head into my pillow.

Monday evening musing

Survived the weekend, but I could have done without the arctic temperatures outside.

Working on two projects now. One is the Lynx comic script and the other is a project of love.

It was a project I wanted to do several years ago. Unfortunately it never got off the ground, but I’ve had the chapter breakdowns and outline done. So, talking to some friends who have a gaming web site, I discovered they do fiction based on the game as well as original works. Well, I already had the story planned out, so I think this is probably as close to getting this “published” as I’m ever going to be able to do.

However, this isn’t going to be a “full-time” writing project. I’ll be working on it when I need to refresh my batteries from my other projects. What I’m hoping to do is get about four or five chapters written and then start posting them as a serial and then add more chapters as I go. I have no clue when it’s going to go live, but I did knock out over a thousand words in about an hour on Cat and Mouse. I think that might hint at my enthusiasm for this story.

Yeah, it would have been nice if I could have written in the licensed universe, but they only put out three books and quit, so whatcha gonna do?

Sometimes you just have to write the story in your head.


I got one of the best compliments I think I’ve ever gotten my entire time as a writer the other day.

One of my co-workers downloaded and read Echoes of Coventry.  After I came out of my annual assessment at work on Thursday, she stopped me in the hall and said, “Rich, I’d have known you wrote that book, even if I hadn’t seen your name on it. I could hear your voice in the characters, Your sarcasm and your knowledge of intelligence work came through loud and clear.”

High praise, indeed.

Into the breach . . .

And once again, Moonshadows is winging its way back to the editor for round two. Joni had some good comments and picked up on something that made sense in the first draft but not once I rearranged a few sections in the second. So, a few carefully placed sentences here and there and hopefully, it’ll flow smoothly.

Started working on the comic today. Only got the first page scripted, but it’s started. Now just need to build some momentum (and remember to take my notes with me . . . the memory isn’t quite what it used to be.)

Also spent some time the last couple of days getting ready for the upcoming convention season. Amazing how quickly some of this stuff can sneak up on you.

Plenty cold outside tonight. Not quite Siberian or Canadian cold, but cold enough. Gonna be a fun next few weeks, I have a feeling.

“What are we gonna do tonight, Brain?”

Moonshadows is now significantly trimmer than the initial draft and I think it’s a bit more focused, (Thanks, Kelly!). I’m going to pass it over to Joni tomorrow and incorporate her thoughts before sending it back to the editor for round two of the edits.

Also, spent some time today doing some plotting for the comic script I need to get to work on. I think it will be the next project followed by Codename: Falcon.

Of course, now that I’ve decided what my next couple of projects should be, I’m getting ideas for other things.

Thanks, Brain. As if I didn’t have enough to try and write sometime this year.

(And yes, I did hear Pinky’s voice in my head when I wrote that line. *Narf!*)

Editing and Plotting

First go at the editorial comments on Moonshadows done. Trimmed about 600 words from the manuscript on tonight’s pass, shifted some conversations around and assigned them to other people and tightened the pace in a couple of scenes.

I’ll come back and give it another pass tomorrow night before getting started on a new project. I have four to choose from:

1) The second story for Codename: Falcon (short story series for Pro Se Productions)
2) A brand new short story for a market I’ve never tried to sell stuff to before
3) Knock out the script to a comic I’m pitching to a new company
4) Get (back) to work on my Military SF novel

Who knows, maybe it’ll be a bit of all the above. At least get the two short stories outlined . . .

Decisions, decisions

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.